Cochin Shipyard to build autonomous electric ferries for Norway firm

Our Bureau Kochi | Updated on July 16, 2020

Cochin Shipyard Limited, has signed contracts for construction and supply of two autonomous electric ferries for ASKO Maritime AS, Norway, with an option to build two more identical vessels.

CSL, the largest commercial shipbuilder in the country, has clinched this export order from ASKO Maritime AS, the subsidiary group of Norges Gruppen ASA, one of the largest players in the Norwegian retail segment. This autonomous electrical vessel project is an ambitious one in Norway, partially funded by the Norwegian Government, and aims at emission-free transport of goods across the Oslo fjord.

These vessels will be managed by Massterly AS, a joint venture between Kongsberg, the world leader in autonomous technology, and Wilhelmsen, one of the largest maritime shipping companies in the world. Massterly AS will take up technical management and operate autonomous vessels. Once in operation, this vessel will create a new benchmark for the merchant shipping world in the field of autonomous vessels with zero carbon emission.

Each of the 67-metre long vessels will initially be delivered as a full-electric transport ferry, powered by 1,846 kWh capacity battery. After commissioning the autonomous equipment and field trials in Norway, it will operate as a fully autonomous ferry of ASKO, with capacity to transport 16 fully-loaded Standard EU trailers across the fjords. The vessels are designed by Naval Dynamics Norway using Kongsberg Maritime systems, with detailed engineering to be carried out by CSL. They will be built under DNV GL Classification and flagged in Norway.

CSL won this order after detailed evaluation of various global shipyards and based on its value proposition to the customer. CSL’s proven capability and track record to deliver world-class high-end vessels to prestigious clients in western Europe also found favour with the client. CSL holds this contract, obtained within the current constraints posed by the pandemic, in high significance. CSL is already constructing 23 hybrid electric boats for the Kochi Water Metro, a press release said.

This project is expected to catapult CSL into the league of premier shipbuilding yards in the world capable of handling high-tech vessel construction.

Published on July 16, 2020

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