India: Keel laid for ASKO’s autonomous, electric ferry pair

Cochin Shipyard Limited (CSL), the largest commercial shipbuilder in India, has held a keel-laying ceremony for two autonomous, zero-emission electric ferries being built for Norway-based company ASKO Maritime AS.


The ceremony took place in Kochi on 7 August 2021.

Photo: CSL

According to CSL, the roll-on/roll-off (RoRo) vessels are considered to be the first of their kind in the field of merchant shipping field. Both vessels will have full battery-electric propulsion and are designed for transporting trailers across Oslo Fjord between two of ASKO’s distribution centers.

Back in July 2020, the shipbuilder signed a contract for the construction and supply of the two units with an option to build two more identical vessels.

Partially funded by the Norwegian government, this ambitious electric ferry project aims to enable emission-free transport of goods across the Oslo fjords.

The newbuilds 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 shipping company Wilhelmsen.

The 67-meter-long vessels will initially be delivered as a full-electric transport Ferries, powered by 1,846 kWh capacity battery. After commissioning of autonomous equipment and field trials in Norway, they will operate as fully autonomous ferries that can transport 16 fully loaded Standard EU trailers in one go across the fjords.

The ships were designed by Naval Dynamics, Norway using Kongsberg Maritime systems, with detailed engineering 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.

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