Research underway for low-emission Scottish ferry fleet

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Caledonian Maritime Assets Limited (CMAL), which is responsible for the operations of ferries and ports on Scotland’s west coast, has appointed ferry design consultancy Navalue to lead the concept design of its Small Vessel Replacement Program (SVRP).

Navalue will provide consultancy services for the concept design stage of the program, which will see several small vehicle and passenger vessels replaced on the Clyde and Hebrides Ferry Services (CHFS) network.

CMAL and Navalue say they will investigate and evaluate the feasibility of designing low-emission ferries, in line with the Scottish government’s climate change commitments. This, say the partners, will include investigation of the latest offshore charging technologies and onboard electrical energy storage systems, capable of being recharged from shoreside electrical power supplies.

Jim Anderson, director of vessels at CMAL, said, “CMAL led the way in low-emission small ferries when we designed the world’s first hybrid seagoing ferries, with three hybrid vessels currently in operation on the network. Our aim is to ensure the next generation of small vessels is as environmentally friendly as possible by adopting further advances in battery technology and electrifying our fleet. Navalue will provide insight and expert knowledge as we embark on our highly ambitious and much-needed vessel renewal program.”

CMAL says the SVRP will include engagement with relevant stakeholders and communities to provide updates and ensure the needs of users are reflected where practical and affordable in the design and construction phases. A future phase two of the SVRP will replace vessels serving the Sound of Barra, Sound of Harris and Sound of Iona routes; however, during phase one, CMAL will investigate a vessel design that complies with changed regulatory requirements for the Sound of Iona.

Thomas Ritte, a partner at Navalue, concluded, “Navalue is strongly committed to providing innovative, reliable and efficient ship design solutions for sustainable shipping. We are pleased to bring our experience in developing zero-emission transportation solutions to the CMAL Small Vessel Replacement Program and look forward to working with CMAL in their goal toward lower-emission vessels.”

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Lawrence has been covering engineering subjects – with a focus on motorsport technology – since 2007 and has edited and contributed to a variety of international titles. Currently, he is responsible for content across UKI Media & Events' portfolio of websites while also writing for the company's print titles.

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