BV to class nine green ferries funded by Hong Kong

French classification society Bureau Veritas (BV) has been selected to class nine green passenger ferries that will transport over 5 million passengers annually on three routes between Hong Kong and outlying islands Lamma Island, Peng Chau, and Hei Ling Chau.

Courtesy of Cheoy Lee Shipyard
Courtesy of Cheoy Lee Shipyard

To be built by Chinese shipbuilder Cheoy Lee, the nine high-speed craft (HSC) will measure between 35 and 40 meters; eight vessels will be in full carbon fibre composite and one unit will be in full aluminium.

As informed, the new generation of vessels will be built under the Hong Kong Government Vessel Subsidy Scheme (VSS) to replace the existing ferries, upgrading safety and environmental standards.

Marine diesel engines compliant with IMO Tier III requirements will be fitted as the main propulsion system. In addition, two of the nine vessels will be propelled by diesel-electric hybrid propulsion systems as part of a trial program led by Hong Kong’s Environmental Protection Department. This will enable these ferries to operate in zero-emission mode as an option during manoeuvring and berthing.

The units will be classed under BV with the notation Electric Hybrid and Zero Emission (ZE) mode. The notation helps ensure that the systems operate safely and efficiently, and validates benefits in terms of reduced fuel consumption, local air quality and noise reduction when in proximity to centers of population.

“Ferries are vital in Hong Kong. And as the ferry market continues to grow in Hong Kong, this growth is accompanied by a need to comply with safety and environmental protection standards,” Alex Gregg-Smith, Senior Vice President & Chief Executive, North Asia and China, Bureau Veritas Marine & Offshore, said.

Working in collaboration and supporting all stakeholders involved in this project, Bureau Veritas’ certifications will help ensure ferry safety as well as their comfort, energy efficiency and environmental compliance. Energy efficiency and improved environmental performance have become top priorities in order to reduce operational costs and meet stricter environmental regulations.”

All nine of the ferries will be fitted with approximately 102 square metre solar panels and battery systems to capture solar energy for on board electricity consumption. The hybrid vessels will also be fitted with air-cooled Lithium-ion modular battery systems as an alternative propulsion system.

The vessels are expected to be delivered between the end of 2023 and early 2025.