Schottel to equip ASKO’s autonomous, electric ferries

Germany’s propulsion manufacturer Schottel has received a contract to deliver EcoPellers and PumpJets for two autonomous electric ferries ordered by Norway-based ASKO Maritime AS.

India’s Cochin Shipyard Limited (CSL) is building the roll-on/roll-off (RoRo) pair.

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Both vessels will have full battery-electric propulsion and are designed for transporting trailers across Oslo Fjord between two of ASKO’s distribution centers.

“We have a clear ambition to be climate neutral and have set ambitious goals, including being a self-sufficient provider of clean energy and having 100% emission-free transport by 2026,” Kai Just Olsen, Director of ASKO Maritime, commented.

“These innovative ships are key to fulfilling that ambition and will form an essential component of a zero-emissions logistics chain linking our facilities. We are very pleased that Schottel is supporting us in this project.”

Specifically, the main propulsion system of each vessel will consist of one medium-sized Schottel EcoPeller type SRE 210 (500 kW) driven by an electric motor. This motor will be electrically powered by a battery bank with 1,846 kilowatt-hours capacity. The SRE will help reduce fuel consumption, ensuring lower operating costs and lower emissions, according to Schottel.

What is more, an electrically powered Schottel PumpJet type SPJ 57 (200 kW) will be fitted at the bow to act both as thruster and take-home system. The SPJ is expected to improve maneuverability.

The vessels will be fitted with a bridge forward and, initially, they will be operated with a crew on board. Thereafter, they will operate fully autonomously for ASKO with the ability to transport 16 fully loaded standard EU trailers at a time. These will be stowed on the open deck with a loading ramp at the stern.

The operating speed will be 10 knots. It is anticipated that this mode of trailer transport will replace over 2 million road miles per year, in turn saving around 5,000 tonnes of CO2 every year. 

The 67-metre-long vessels have been designed by Naval Dynamics in Norway. They will be built under DNV GL classification and will fly the Norwegian flag. The contract includes options for two further vessels.

Both vessels are scheduled to enter operation in January 2022.