Pioneering electric fast ferry attracts significant EU funding
A contract valued at €11.7 million has been awarded to Rogaland County Municipality in Norway and NCE Maritime CleanTech aimed at developing a high speed electric powered passenger vessel, Dag Pike reports.
The aim is to establish a ferry service to operate between Stavanger and Hommersåk on the west coast of Norway.
This is one of the largest amounts to have been awarded to a single project in the EU’s Horizon 2020 research programme, and the project is set to revolutionise the Norwegian production of zero emission vessels. The project will also conduct two studies for the same type of vessel for operations in London and on the inland waterways of Belgium.
This project has been initiated by the industry cluster NCE Maritime CleanTech. Rogaland County Municipality has come in as a partner in this cluster, and as the eventual owner of the vessel and a purchaser of transport services, they will be the project coordinator.
This is an ambitious project which it is claimed, will result in a new fully-electric high-speed vessel with zero emissions. In addition, new manufacturing methods will contribute to 25% lower production costs and 70% lower engineering costs. Rogaland County Municipality’s application beat more than 100 other applicants in the competition for this contract.
“I’m proud that we receive financial support from the EU. It is an important and major recognition of our collaboration with the industry cluster and vessel operator Kolumbus to develop a zero emission high-speed vessel. This means that Rogaland, Western Norway and Norway, with the county municipality at the forefront, can become a world leader in the development of this type of technology.” says chairman of the county council Solveig Ege Tengesdal.
The project will also conduct studies for the same type of vessel in London and Belgium to explore opportunities for similar zero emission vessels on selected routes in Europe. Partners in the project include Thames Clippers, which operates fast ferries on the Thames River in London.
The Rogaland county municipality will contribute NOK 5 million for a demonstration vessel, and has committed to putting it into service between Stavanger and Hommersåk. The vessel will be operated by Kolumbus and accommodate 150 passengers and 20 bicycles and it will operate at a speed of 23 knots. The vessel will be built by Norwegian shipyard Fjellstrand.
“This is an important project for several reasons. By implementing battery technology the Norwegian ferries are at the forefront of the green shift, and now we are bringing this technology to the high-speed vessel market.” said Edmund Tolo, Sales Manager at Fjellstrand.
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