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Sembcorp Marine completes fabrication of first zero-emission battery-powered Ropax ferry

22 Mar 2022

Singapore-based shipyard Sembcorp Marine Ltd on Tuesday (15 March) said it has completed fabrication of the first of three identical battery-operated roll-on/roll-off passenger (Ropax) ferries for Norled AS a Norwegian ferry operator.

The Group was awarded a contract by Norled to design and construct three identical battery-powered Ropax ferries, based on the proprietary design of LMG Marin AS, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Sembcorp Marine.

The vessels’ design is optimised according to Norled operational requirements incorporating energy-efficient solutions throughout the ferries. These include quick-connection shore charging plugs; auto-mooring; auto-cross; efficient hull, propulsion and heat recovery systems; as well as minimised hotel and auxiliary loads.

The vessels will operate normally on zero-emission, powered by lithium-ion batteries at a service speed of 10 knots. When required, they can run on combined battery-diesel hybrid backup modes. The batteries will be charged and recharged using green hydro-electric power.

The design of the 82.4-metre long multi-deck, double-ended ferries, each with a capacity for 300 passengers and crew, as well as 80 cars or a combination of up to 10 cars and 10 trailer trucks, also took into consideration passengers’ comfort and working conditions for the crew.

When launched into operation for Norled’s shortsea Hella-Vangsnes-Dragsvik connections in Norway, it is expected to fulfil Norled’s objective to contribute to emission reductions through the introduction of innovative new vessels equipped with zero-emission technology.

Torbjorn Bringedal, LMG Marin Managing Director, said: “LMG Marin offers a wide range of designs and technologies for sustainable ship operations, including LNG, battery, hydrogen, ammonia and hybrid propulsion systems. We are very pleased to be able to use our proprietary design to support Norled’s green objectives with specific customisation for the vessels’ operating environments.”

Tan Heng Jack, Sembcorp Marine’s Head of Specialised Shipbuilding, said: “To serve efficiently as a ferry vessel, the design took into consideration the vessel’s operational profile and schedule, as well as design imperatives of passenger safety and comfort, and conducive working conditions for ferry staff. The first of the three vessels will soon be part of Norled’s service fleet in Norway.”

Wong Weng Sun, Sembcorp Marine President & CEO, said: “The demand for passenger ferries is anticipated to increase owing to a wide range of factors including the emerging trend of ferries as a viable alternative transport, development in marine fuel technologies, and inclination of consumers towards luxury marine travel.”

Wong added, “Sembcorp Marine, with its extensive track record and suite of proprietary designs for various types of ships and offshore engineering solutions, will continue to strategically position the Group strongly to support the maritime industry’s transition towards renewable energy and the adoption of green technologies. This latest project marks our commitment to our customer and their pursuit of green solutions for the industry.”

The remaining two Ropax ferries are expected to be ready in 2022.


Photo credit: Sembcorp Marine
Published: 22 March, 2022

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