HAV bags ship design deal for world’s first autonomous zero-emission ferries

Norway-based HAV Design has been selected to design and develop four newbuild autonomous battery-powered zero-emission ferries for compatriot Fjord1. Described as the world’s first, the ferries will operate the Lavik-Oppedal crossing on the northwest coast of Norway.

Courtesy of Fjord1

HAV Group’s ship design business signed the contract on March 1, building on Fjord1’s earlier commitment to utilize HAV Group as a technology partner and a key supplier to the four ferries.

Under the contract, HAV Group’s ship design business will deliver ship design and an engineering package for all four autonomous ferries.

The contract between HAV and Fjord1 comes a few days after Fjord1 had placed a shipbuilding order for the autonomous battery-powered ferries at Türkiye’s Tersan Shipyard.

HAV said the ship design is based on a future-oriented operating concept developed together with Fjord1. The ferries will be able to operate with autonomous navigation and a high degree of automation of vessel functions that replace manual operations on board and on land.

These zero-emission ferries are expected to start operating between Lavik and Oppedal in Norway from September 1, 2026.

Implementation of automation functions and autonomous systems, including autocrossing and autodocking, will take place in 2027, while autonomous navigation will be implemented in 2028.

“When these four ferries have been delivered, we will have designed 18 electrical ferries for Fjord1. While this is a notable number, the environmental and technological profile for these four newbuild ferries represent a major step into the future. Being allowed to design and develop such highly innovative ferries is a proud moment for us,” said Jan Magne Goksøyr, VP of Sales at HAV Group’s ship design business.

Gunnar Larsen, CEO of HAV Group ASA, added: “For a group that prides itself on being an enabler of green transition at sea, this contract is obviously a perfect strategic fit for us. We are still at the early adopter stage of autonomous sailing capabilities and automation of vessel functions, so this market is expected to grow considerably in the coming years and decades. This contract puts us in pole position to capitalize on this market growth.”

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