Indian shipyard to build two autonomous freight ferries for Norwegian owner

Written by Nick Blenkey
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Ferries will operate across Oslo Fjord [Image: Cochin Shipyard]

India’s Cochin Shipyard Limited (CSL) reports that it has signed contracts for construction and supply of two autonomous electric freight ferries for ASKO Maritime AS, Norway, with an option to build two more identical vessels.

ASKO Maritime AS is a subsidiary group of Norges Gruppen ASA, one of the largest players in the Norwegian retail segment. The ferries are being built with the help of NOK 119 million (about $12.8 million) in Norwegian Government funding as part of a project to provide emissions-free transportation of goods across the Oslo Fjord. They will be operated by Massterly AS, a joint venture between Kongsberg and Wilhelmsen, set up to take technical management and operate autonomous vessels

The 67 meter long vessels will initially be delivered as fully-electric transport ferries, powered by an 1,846 kWh capacity battery.

After commissioning of autonomous equipment and field trials in Norway, the vessels will operate as fully autonomous ferries able transport 16 fully loaded Standard EU trailers in one trip across the Fjord.

According to Massterly, the battery powered vessels can replace 150 trucks daily, eliminate 2 million kilometers of truck haulage and save 5,000 tons of CO2 per year.

The vessels have been designed by Naval Dynamics Norway incorporating Kongsberg Maritime systems, with detailed engineering to be carried out by Cochin Shipyard.

They will be built to DNV GL classification and will be flagged in Norway.

Cochin Shipyard did not disclose the contract value but says it won the order “after detailed evaluation of various global shipyards and based on its value proposition to the customer.”

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