Wärtsilä To Design & Equip Two Electric Ferries For Norway

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The marine and energy manufacturing group Wärtsilä, based in Finland, has been busy bringing us new, less hazardous marine travel and shipment options for the pure water underneath. A few weeks ago CleanTechnica covered Wärtsilä’s new emissions-free barge, with interchangeable energy containers. Before that, it was tugboats (in 2017). Soon, we may find out how captivating it would be to get a glimpse of electric cars on electric ferries.

Two zero-emissions, battery-powered electric ferries custom designed for Norwegian Boreal Sjö by Finnish Wärtsilä for use in the Netherlands. Image courtesy Wärtsilä.

The company’s work in battery-powered vessels was acknowledged recently with a contract to design and equip two new zero-emissions ferries. Wärtsilä will build the ferries for Norwegian operator Boreal Sjö at Holland Shipyards in the Netherlands, thanks to orders placed with Wärtsilä in April.

The Wärtsilä ship design is a custom design, “tailored to the operating and route profiles of the two double-ended shuttle ferries.”

The ships are supposed to go into operation in autumn of next year, 2021. “In addition to the design, for each ferry Wärtsilä will supply the thruster motors, batteries, onboard and shore-based battery charging equipment, the back-up generators, and various electrical systems.”

Wärtsilä says that these ferries are the early culmination of years worth of R&D for low-carbon marine shipping.

Wärtsilä also highlights, logically but also clearly in self-promotion, that its vertical integration on this topic provides the buyers with some clear benefits. “It is advantageous to have the equipment contracted from a single supplier. The convenience will prove to be a customer benefit during operation of the vessels. It will be the single point of contact for maintenance, spare parts and support on the equipment.”

One of the ferries will be 30 meters long and capable of carrying 10 cars and approximately 100 passengers. (How interesting it would be to get a photo of electric cars on the electric ferries.) The other ferry will be 50 meters long and able to carry 35 cars and 149 passengers, including crew. Let’s hope they are 35 all-electric cars.

The company reports that ferries will provide service for the following routes in Norway:

  • Launes – Kvellandstrand – Launes
  • Abelnes – Andabeløy – Abelnes.

It looks like northern seafaring nations are intent on being kinder to the whole planet these days. We just wrote about electric marine vehicle leader Evoy, also based in Norway (in Florø), working to protect the pristine seascape in its own way.

There various positive trends in the marine shipping industry. Carolyn Fortuna recently reached out to Tuomas Riski, CEO of Norsepower, based in Finland like Wärtsilä, to gather insightful insider perspectives on the newest and best innovations in hybrid shipping.

In Paris, CleanTechnica even found repurposing of Renault EV batteries in boats.

It is vital that consumers, shippers, travelers, and corporations recognize that warming oceans, rising sea levels, and ocean acidification continue to present tragedies and challenges for humanity in countless ways. The oceans, which support innumerable plant and animal species, need to have much more pollution avoided, as does our atmosphere.

Each step toward transitioning to zero emissions is helpful.

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Cynthia Shahan

Cynthia Shahan, started writing after previously doing research and publishing work on natural birth practices. Words can be used improperly depending on the culture you are in. (Several unrelated publications) She has a degree in Education, Anthropology, Creative Writing, and was tutored in Art as a young child thanks to her father the Doctor.

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