IRS, GRSE to jointly develop autonomous and green ships

Classification society Indian Register of Shipping (IRS) has signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) with local shipbuilder Garden Reach Shipbuilders & Engineers Limited (GRSE) to jointly work on the development of autonomous and green energy vessels.

Courtesy of IRS

The partnership is said to mark a significant step towards fostering innovation and sustainability in the maritime industry.

Under the MOU signed on March 4, IRS will provide guidance and expertise to GRSE in developing autonomous and green energy vessels. The collaboration aims to ensure that vessels designed and developed by GRSE comply with evolving safety standards, rule requirements, design specifications and mandatory compliances for autonomous and green energy vessels.

Leveraging IRS insights and recommendations, GRSE will ensure the vessels are designed and developed in compliance with the latest industry standards, according to the companies.

“Taking cognizance of the changing technology landscape, GRSE while continuing its focus on conventional shipbuilding, has created a separate vertical for autonomous vessels and green shipping. The MOU with IRS will facilitate this foray in the new technology arena, while further cementing the long-standing relationship that GRSE shares with IRS,” Commodore P. R. Hari (Retd.), Chairman and Managing Director (CMD), GRSE, commented.

“The partnership with GRSE emphasizes our commitment to promoting innovation and sustainability in the maritime sector. Our objective is to combine our expertise with GRSE’s capabilities to develop autonomous and green vessels aligned with the industry’s changing needs and environmental targets,” Arun Sharma, Executive Chairman, IRS, said.

A month ago, GRSE launched a next-generation battery-powered electric ferry for the West Bengal government. Being constructed under the IRS class, the newbuilding has an aluminium hull and a FRP superstructure.

The catamaran 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.

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