GRSE launches its first electric ferry
India-based shipbuilder Garden Reach Shipbuilders & Engineers Ltd (GRSE) has launched a next-generation battery-powered electric ferry for the West Bengal government.
The launching ceremony for Dheu took place in Kolkata last month.
Being constructed under the Indian Register of Shipping (IRS) class, the newbuilding has an aluminium hull and a FRP superstructure. The catamaran ferry can accommodate up to 150 persons on board.
“This vessel not only marks a technological milestone in electric ferry technology, but also signifies the collaborative efforts of IRS and GRSE, ushering in a new era of sustainable and environmentally conscious maritime solutions,” IRS said.
Designed to serve the Government of West Bengal, the 24-meter-long Dheu is a twin-hulled vessel equipped with a 246 kW capacity liquid-cooled battery system which can be charged from a shore-based source or through deck-mounted solar panels that generate 18 kW per hour. In addition, the vessel incorporates an efficient energy management system, which maximizes the use of solar power to achieve speeds of up to 10 knots through two 50 kW electric propulsion motors.
For added safety, the ship is equipped with a 50 kW Emergency DG set, ensuring lighting and power during emergencies.
“Holding the prospect of replacing diesel-engine run ferries with green platforms that use only battery and solar power, the launch of the electric ferry, christened ‘Dheu’ (wave) signals opportunities in zero-emission water transport,” a GRSE official said.
Built to IRS Guidelines for Battery Powered Vessels, Dheu marks the advent of green energy in maritime transportation, eliminating carbon emissions associated with diesel engines, according to IRS.
The new ferry will undergo sea trials before its delivery to the West Bengal government.
Last year, GRSE partnered with Shift Energy Group, SeaTech Solutions International, and the American Bureau of Shipping (ABS) to develop electric tugs, named E-VOLT 50.
The deal is part of India’s ambitious strategy of becoming the ‘Global Hub for Green Shipbuilding’ by 2030.