Norled orders world’s first hybrid catamarans for use in commercial traffic

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Norled, one of Norway’s largest ferry and express boat operators, has ordered two 24m diesel-electric catamarans from shipyard GS Marine. Upon entering service, the vessels will be the world’s first hybrid catamarans to be used in commercial traffic. Designed by naval architect Ingebjørn Aasheim, the catamarans will accommodate 86 passengers and be capable of speeds of up to 20kts. They will enter operation on two different routes in Røværsambandet, Norway, from 1 January 2019, between Haugesund and Røvær, and between Feøy, Haugesund and Kveitevik. Servogear, in cooperation with Brunvoll Mar-El, will deliver the complete hybrid propulsion package for both vessels. As well as the propellers, effect rudders, and the design of the propeller tunnels, Servogear will supply its plug-in hybrid Ecoflow Propulsor, a solution that mates a hybrid gearbox to an electric motor. Brunvoll Mar-El will design and deliver the control systems, power management and batteries. Equipment development is supported by Innovation Norway. The two vessels will use battery-electric power when operating close to shore; however, the diesel engines will be used to achieve top speed. “This is a unique project that we are very proud to be a part of. The operator can choose to sail electrically in city harbours, which results zero local emissions,” said Otto Pedersen, Servogear sales and marketing director. “And compared with a conventional CPP propulsion line, the hybrid solution results in operational cost savings and a lifetime extension for the main engine. It is also a significant step towards achieving a green vessel profile, reducing NOx and CO2 emissions.”

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Dean has been with UKi Media & Events for over a decade, having previously cut his journalistic teeth writing and editing for various automotive and engineering titles. He combines extensive knowledge of all things automotive with a passion for driving, and experience testing countless new vehicles, engines and technologies around the world. As well as his role as editor-in-chief across a range of UKi's media titles, he is also co-chair of the judging panel of the International Engine of the Year Awards.

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