Buquebús’ battery powered ropax to be fitted with Wärtsilä and Corvus’ technology

2023-08-29T13:11:23+00:00 August 29th, 2023|Technology|

Technology group Wärtsilä will power the biggest battery electric ship yet built, using Corvus battery technology.

A fast ferry, she will be fitted with Wärtsilä’s battery electric propulsion system and waterjets.

The ferry is being built by Incat Tasmania and has been ordered by the yard’s long-term South American customer, Buquebús.

With an overall length of 130 m, she will be the largest vessel of her type. She will also be the world’s first zero emissions, lightweight catamaran.

The vessel will be fully battery powered, with e-motor driven Wärtsilä waterjets as the main propulsors. The battery modules and energy storage system package is four times larger than on any electric/hybrid ship currently operating.

“We are very happy to have taken this big leap forward towards de-carbonised operations. Incat Tasmania has always been at the forefront of innovating and pioneering new technology and design, and this project further cements our market position.

“The design addresses the market’s needs and requirements by utilising batteries, making it a very viable option for owners and operators looking to increase the sustainability of their fleets. We would also like to thank Wärtsilä for supporting us with an extremely efficient, completely integrated propulsion package, and are really looking forward to working with them to make this project a huge success,” said Robert Clifford, Incat’s founder and Chairman.

“The overall high-efficiency of this next-generation ferry represents a game-changing advance in catamaran design. We are proud to have contributed our strong knowhow in integrating our ship electrification solutions and propulsion equipment.

“The battery power pack that we are supplying will be the largest ever supplied with a unique eight waterjet propulsor configuration. The eight e-motor waterjet propulsion configuration is the most efficient available on today’s market for this speed range and type application while boasting all the benefits from Wärtsilä’s axial flow waterjet technology – low weight, shallow draft, superb manoeuvrability, and low maintenance,” added Roger Holm, President of Wärtsilä’s Marine Power business.

Wärtsilä will supply its energy management system, a power conversion systemDC shore charging system, the 40 MWh battery modules, a DC hub, eight electric motors, eight Wärtsilä axial flow WXJ1100 waterjets, and the ProTouch propulsion control system.

Delivery of Wärtsilä’s equipment is scheduled for the latter part of 2024, with the vessel being delivered in 2025.

Wärtsilä has contracted Corvus Energy to supply the battery pack for the electric-powered lightweight ropax.

“This ground breaking project marks a turning point in the maritime industry’s effort to transition towards greener means of transportation. Combining cutting-edge technology, environmental consciousness, and innovative design, it redefines the future of ferry operations worldwide and paves the way for other large, zero-emission vessels,” said Halvard Hauso Commercial Director Europe, Corvus Energy. “We are very grateful that Wärtsilä once again chose Corvus Energy as their partner for such an important and advanced project.”


The ropax will also be the first fully electric vessel in South America. Hauso cites the significance of this milestone as a positive indicator of the increasing adoption of maritime electrification.


This project demonstrates that “maritime de-carbonisation is now happening worldwide, not only in Europe,” he stressed.


She will be fitted with Corvus` latest technological breakthrough– the lightweight battery, Dolphin NextGen.


Its design is based on the architecture of the four-year, multi-million development programme for the Corvus Blue Whale ESS.


This project included a ground-up redesign that re-evaluated and improved every aspect of battery design, including battery chemistry, mechanical and electrical design, and software building blocks.


The Dolphin NextGen ESS is a game changer for marine battery projects, due to its low weight and volumetric density, robustness, and unsurpassed flexibility, Corvus claimed.

Once delivered, she will operate between Argentina and Uruguay across the River Plate, carrying 2,100 pax and 225 vehicles and fitted with a 2,000 sq m duty-free shop, housed on a single deck.