CSL cuts steel for ASKO’s two autonomous, electric ferries

The largest commercial shipbuilder in India Cochin Shipyard Limited (CSL) Kochi has hosted a plate cutting ceremony for two autonomous electric ferries being built for Norway-based ASKO Maritime AS.

Plate cutting ceremony; Image by Cochin Shipyard
Plate cutting ceremony; Image by Cochin Shipyard

TorbjØrn Johannson, Chairman of the board for ASKO & ASKO MARITIME, cut the first steel plate for ship No.BY 146 through a video conference and Shri Suresh Babu N V, Director (Operations), CSL cut the first steel plate for ship No. BY 147 at the yard on November 25.

CSL Kochi signed contracts for the construction and supply of the two ferries, with an option to build two more identical vessels, on July 15, 2020. 

The construction project is partially funded by the Norwegian Government with the aim of setting up an emission-free transport of goods across the Oslo fjord.

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The vessels will be managed by Massterly AS, the world’s first company established 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-meter long vessels will initially be delivered as fully-electric transport ferries, powered by a 1,846 kWh capacity battery. After commissioning of autonomous equipment and field trials in Norway, the ships will operate as fully autonomous ferries with the capacity to transport 16 fully loaded standard EU trailers in one go across the fjords each.

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, under the rule regulations of the Norwegian Maritime Authority.

Cochin expects this project to catapult the company into the league of premier shipbuilding yards capable of handling high tech vessel construction offering sustainable solutions.