Peter Ståhlberg, Managing Director at NLC Ferry/Wasaline

Red Sea to get its 1st battery hybrid ferry

UME Shipping LLC, United Arab Emirates, has bought the battery-powered M/S Wasa Express ferry from Finnish/Swedish shipowner Kvarken Link.

Peter Ståhlberg, Managing Director at NLC Ferry/Wasaline; Image by Offshore Energy

Kvarken Link is presently building the M/S Aurora Botnia replacing the Wasa Express in May 2021, which will be managed by its subsidiary Wasaline.

M/S Wasa Express will be delivered to UME shipping in direct continuation after the new ferry Aurora Botnia has entered into service on the route between Vaasa in Finland and Umeå in Sweden.

Wasa Express will enter UME Shipping’s services in the Red Sea.

“We believe that UME Shipping share our values in how ships shall be operated and maintained.  It is an important milestone to have reached this agreement already now, enabling us to focus on the operations of the existing vessel, as well as the newbuilding project,” says Captain Peter Ståhlberg, Managing Director of Wasaline.

“With our latest acquisition, the Wasa Express, we will be the first operator with a battery hybrid ferry in the Red Sea. In addition to the battery system the vessel is equipped with a number of the latest optimizing equipment in the market, effectively reducing the carbon dioxide footprint,” says Mohamed Badawy, Chairman and owner of UME Shipping.

Wasaline said in October that the 1981-built ferry was fitted with batteries, which in a so-called Blackout can supply energy to the most important pumps on board. This means that Wasa Express now can sail with only one generator, instead of two.

The solution, designed by the innovation company eMarine Engineering Nordic Ab, means that Wasa Express saves 25 tonnes of fuel (approx. 80 tonnes of CO2) per month, Wasaline said at the time.


  • Length Overall                                    140,8 m
  • Breadth overall                                  24,50 m
  • Deadweight                                         2,501 tons
  • Gross tonnage                                    17,053
  • Net tonnage                                        5195
  • No. of persons onboard Crew 65 PAX 915

Wasaline’s new vessel, under construction at Rauma Marine Constructions, Finland, is scheduled for delivery in April 2021.

The new 150-meter car and passenger ferry was fitted with ABB’s ice-class Azipod electric propulsion in September 2020.

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The new ferry will be the first-ever RoPax ferry with a Clean Design class notation. The vessel will have a hybrid power generation system, as well as an electric propulsion system rarely used in car and passenger ferries.

The four main engines, supplied by Wärtsilä, will run on both liquified natural gas and liquefied biogas, helping cut emissions in the Kvarken region of the Gulf of Bothnia.