NMA gives nod to high speed ferry design

2024-03-15T18:38:46+00:00 March 15th, 2024|Ships|

TECO 2030 and Umoe Mandal have received preliminary approval from the Norwegian Maritime Authority (NMA) for their joint high-speed ferry design.

This design is based on Umoe Mandal’s crew transfer vessel (CTV) surface effect ship (SES) technology, featuring an air-cushion catamaran design.

The configuration ensures very high fuel efficiency, sufficient range to sail a complete route without charging stops unlike battery-driven vessels, the companies claimed.

In addition, the design also offers high passenger comfort in rough sea conditions. The vessel will have a service speed of 35 knots, a minimum range of 160 nautical miles, and will accommodate up to 275 pax.

Compared to the fuel consumption of existing equivalent fossil-fuelled high speed passenger ferries, the fuel consumption is reduced by more than 55%. Gas emissions were claimed to be zero.

The ‘Approval of Preliminary Design’ marks the completion of the first stage of the design and approval process for this hydrogen fuelled vessel, following the procedures required by the IMO’s IGF code and ‘Alternative Design Process’.

High speed ferry passenger transport is common in Norway and many other locations, but it has traditionally been linked to very high greenhouse gas emissions per passenger/km.

The Norwegian government is now developing a zero-emission requirement for high-speed ferries starting in 2025 after a public hearing was conducted in 2023.

This vessel designed fulfils these expected zero-emission requirements, it was claimed.

The project was financed by the Norwegian County Municipalities of Finnmark, Nordland, Trøndelag and Vestland, who are now working to secure further financing to construct and demonstrate a hydrogen powered high-speed ferry in line with the Norwegian 2025 zero-emission requirements.

“It is a great pleasure to announce the preliminary approval from the Norwegian Maritime Authority. This vessel can become an accelerator for emission-free marine passenger transport; as a result, we are ready to engage with interested parties,” Tore Enger, Group CEO, TECO 2030, said.

“I am excited to keep the great momentum going with Umoe Mandal and hope the Norwegian public authorities work to secure financing to continue this project as soon as possible.

“Also, keep in mind that this vessel design can easily be adopted to similar sized vessels who wants a viable alternative to traditional combustion engines and fossil fuels. There are no doubts that fuel cells and hydrogen will play a vital role in achieving net-zero climate goals,” he concluded.