Kongsberg to equip Sweden’s new all-electric ferries

Norwegian tech company Kongsberg Maritime has signed a contract to provide electrification and control systems with automated functionalities for the Swedish Transport Administration’s new fully-electric ferries.

Under the contract signed with Dutch shipbuilding firm Holland Shipyards Group, the company will provide equipment for up to four new all-electric ferries, with two firm for delivery and an option for two more.

ferry
Credit: Kongsberg Maritime

Swedish Road Ferries, part of the Swedish Transport Administration, has exclusive rights to operate ferries that connect the national road network.

To achieve the dual objectives of electrification and automation, Kongsberg Maritime will provide the ferries’ electrical systems, as well as a comprehensive control system suite

Specifically, this includes energy management, navigation, and an all-new situational awareness system linked with automated manoeuvring.

Moreover, the company will deliver the technology for the remote monitoring and operation centre in Stockholm, and secure communication between ferries, ports, and the control centre.

A simulator with 360-degree visuals from Kongsberg Digital is also part of the delivery, to enable the ferry company to train its crew in new operational procedures.

“We will deliver the ferries turn-key to Sweden, including shore charging and auto-mooring. Not many yards have experience with delivery of a complete electrical sailing scope, including shore infrastructure. These vessels mark a new step forward for Holland Shipyards Group and the ferry market in general,” said Marco Hoogendoorn, Director, Holland Shipyards Group.

A 12-month test period is planned after delivery to further develop and fine-tune automated functionalities, and to demonstrate the ferries’ capabilities to Swedish authorities.

“This development confirms our view that coastal traffic – and ferries in particular – will be the first ship types to adopt autonomous operations,” stated Roger Trinterud, Sales Director, Kongsberg Maritime.

“This project will also further build on the work we have done on Yara Birkeland, a zero-emissions container-feeder vessel, and the fully autonomous freight ferries for Norwegian grocery distributor Asko,” noted Hans Westad, Portfolio Manager, Autonomous and Remote Projects, Kongsberg Maritime.

Yara Birkeland, dubbed the world’s first zero-emission ferry, was delivered to its owner Yara International in 2020. Since then. the vessel started commercial operations with an emphasis on a two-year test period.

Under the partnership, Kongsberg has been in charge of the development and delivery of all key enabling technologies on Yara Birkeland including the sensors and integration required for remote and autonomous operations, in addition to the electric drive, battery, and propulsion control systems.

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