FERRIES 2022: New federal funding opens up ferry electrification opportunities

Written by Heather Ervin
Bruce Strupp

Bruce Strupp will present on ferry electrification opportunities through the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act

Speakers at Marine Log’s upcoming FERRIES 2022 in San Francisco will include ABB Marine & Ports’ Bruce Strupp. In a presentation on November 1, he will speak on ferry electrification opportunities opened up by the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act.

During his presentation, Strupp will outline how the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act will invest $17 billion over the next several years in U.S. port infrastructure and waterways. Specific to ferries, $1 billion will go toward the construction and electrification of ferries and terminal facilities, while $250 million will cover electric and/or low-emitting ferries. Strupp will also go into detail on how the funds will be further distributed and how Buy America requirements will impact all of this.


Bruce Strupp Jr. is a senior account manager at ABB, a global leader in maritime vessel and port electrification and automation. In this role, he is responsible for working with maritime owners, operators, shipyards and naval architects to develop, propose and deliver complete propulsion systems that reduce vessel emissions, improve vessel operational efficiency and improve vessel, operator and passenger safety in the North American ferry market.

Bruce has over 25 years of combined global maritime industry experience and has worked in many different roles including: Sales, Propulsion System & Engine Product Development, Business Development, Strategy Development, Project Management, Ship Operations, Product Support, Six Sigma and Service Engineering. Prior to joining ABB, Bruce worked at Caterpillar Inc. for 21 years. Bruce is a graduate of the United States Merchant Marine Academy and earned a bachelor’s degree in Marine Systems Engineering. Bruce previously held a Third Assistant Engineer’s License, unlimited tonnage steam and diesel, and has served in the United States Naval Reserve.


SWITCH Maritime’s landmark Sea Change hydrogen-powered ferry project got a lot of attention at Marine Log’s FERRIES 2021 held last November along the New York Harbor. This year, up to 75 attendees have the chance to ride on it. Guests are encouraged to register soon, as the tour will be on a first-come-first-serve basis.

Launched in August 2021 at All American Marine, the Sea Change is a 70-foot catamaran ferry designed by Incat Crowther, equipped with a hydrogen fuel cell system from Zero Emissions Industries (ZEI), which includes 360 kW of fuel cells from Cummins and 242 kg of hydrogen storage tanks from Hexagon Purus, and a 600 kW electric propulsion system from BAE Systems that includes 100 kWh of lithium-ion battery storage from XALT. The Hornblower Group led the construction management.

The 75-passenger ferry receives gaseous hydrogen into its 242 kg tanks on the upper deck. It uses that hydrogen in fuel cells producing electricity to power electric motors for distances up to 300 nautical miles, and speeds up to 20 knots—similar capabilities to diesel-powered vessels—with the added benefits of zero exhaust smoke or other emissions and very little vibration and noise.

The Sea Change project is managed and financed by SWITCH Maritime, an impact investment firm building the first fleet of exclusively zero-carbon maritime vessels for adoption by existing ship owners and operators. Sea Change was the first vessel in the larger zero-carbon ferry fleet that SWITCH planned to construct in 2022, in partnership with municipalities and shipowners aiming to transition to carbon-free vessels. In making the transition, they were able to leverage government grant funds related to transportation decarbonization activities targeted by the landmark U.S. infrastructure bill.


While it is expected that many more will sign on, FERRIES 2022 already has nearly 40 sponsors so far.

Platinum sponsors are ABB and Cummins. Gold sponsors include Glosten, Marine Jet Power, Moteurs Baudouin, SailPlan, Hanson Bridgett LLP, and Wärtsilä. Silver sponsors are All American Marine, Christie & Grey, Elkon, BMT, Elliott Bay Design Group, EMS Marcon, Helm Operations, HamiltonJet, Crowley, GL Power/Twin Disc, Karl Senner, Kongsberg, MTU – A Rolls-Royce Solution, NCP Coatings, Incat Crowther, RYPOS, and Thrustmaster. The event’s bronze sponsors so far include C-Job Naval Architects, Conrad Shipyard, BAE Systems, Allied Marine Crane, MOPS, Rigidized Metals, RocketRez, Steerprop, The Shearer Group Inc., United Safety & Survivability Corporation/Fireboy, Thrive Payments, and VenTek International. Siemens Energy is sponsoring the lunch on Day 1.

Registration for the event is open. The next Early Bird discount ends September 30.

For questions on sponsorships, please contact David Harkey at dharkey@sbpub.com.

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