Cochin Shipyard to build autonomous, electric ferries that will be managed by Kongsberg Wilhelmsen JV

The largest commercial shipbuilder in India Cochin Shipyard Limited (CSL) Kochi has signed contracts for construction and supply of two autonomous electric ferries for ASKO Maritime AS, Norway with an option to build two more identical vessels.

autonomous electric ferry
Image courtesy: Cochin Shipyard

ASKO Maritime AS is the subsidiary of Norges Gruppen ASA, one of the largest players in the Norwegian retail segment.

This vessel construction project is partially funded by the Norwegian Government aimed at emission-free transport of goods across the Oslo fjord.

The vessels will be managed by Massterly AS, the world’s first company set up to take technical management and operate autonomous vessels. The company is a joint venture between autonomous technology major Kongsberg and the shipping company Wilhelmsen.

The 67-metre long vessels will initially be delivered as full-electric transport ferries, powered by 1846 kWh capacity battery.

After the commissioning of autonomous equipment and field trials in Norway, they will operate as fully autonomous ferries of ASKO that can transport 16 fully loaded standard EU trailers in one go across the fjords, Cochin Shipyard said.

The vessels are designed by Naval Dynamics Norway using Kongsberg Maritime systems, with detailed engineering to be carried out by CSL. They will be built under DNV GL Classification and flagged in Norway.

“CSL holds this contract, obtained within the current constraints posed by the pandemic, in high significance. CSL is already constructing 23 hybrid electric boats for the Kochi Water Metro,” the shipbuilder said.

“This project is expected to catapult CSL into the league of premier shipbuilding yards in the world, capable of handling high tech vessel construction.”

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