Australian shipbuilder Incat Tasmania has begun constructing a 130m-long lightweight battery-electric ship, which it says will be the world’s first large, lightweight, zero-emissions ferry.
At over 40MWh, the company claims that the energy storage system (ESS) battery storage will be four times larger than any battery installation that has been constructed and installed anywhere in the world for the marine transportation environment. The batteries power a series of e-motors that drive the water jet propulsion system. The electrical system integration is by Wärtsilä and the ESS by Corvus Energy. The ship will be delivered to Incat’s South American customer, Buquebus. Due to the interest in this project, Incat will now also begin constructing its second – smaller – battery-electric vehicle/passenger ferry.
Incat founder Robert Clifford said, “We are proud to be building in Tasmania this first-in-class ship for Buquebus who, like us, share a vision to be at the leading edge of low-emission shipping in the world. Incat has always been an innovator and once again we are leading the world and the world is taking notice. This worldwide interest in Incat’s capabilities to deliver electric ships is a great opportunity for Tasmania and we expect this interest to magnify. We are already increasing our workforce and have just finalized plans for the recruitment of at least another 200 employees over the next 12 months with the expectation that our workforce will more than double in coming years.”
Craig Clifford, managing director of Incat, said, “The build of the Buquebus ship is leading the world in this type of ship construction and will have leading-edge technology in terms of zero-emissions propulsion and storage systems. Once in operation, the shore-side charging systems will have 50% more capacity than any current installation worldwide. The world’s first Incat Hull 096 will have capacity for 2,100 passengers and crew, 225 cars and will also include a duty-free shop of over 2,000m2 on the one level.”
Clifford continued, “The feedback from overseas has been extraordinarily positive. I expect that we are going to see many more battery-electric ships built here at Incat in Tasmania. The opportunities for jobs and investment here in Tasmania are exceptional. The Australian Federal Government has a clear plan for decarbonizing the economy; with 100% renewable energy and already net zero emissions having been achieved here in Tasmania, we are ideally placed to build zero-emission ships for the world right here. In fact, due to Tasmania already having achieved overall net zero emissions, we are the only location on the planet that is able to construct zero-emission, battery-electric ships in an already net zero emissions environment for our customers.”
In January 2023, Incat Tasmania entered into discussions to deliver this large, lightweight, zero-emissions ferry. To read the full story, click here.