World’s first all-electric fast ferry named in Norway

MS Medstraum, the world’s first fully electric and zero-emission fast ferry, was named at a ceremony in Stavanger, Norway, on 22 September 2022.

Medstraum
Courtesy of Maritime CleanTech

The vessel is a result of the TrAM project that received funding from the European Union and that was instigated by Maritime CleanTech, led by Kolumbus.

“Medstraum is a shining example of what we can achieve with good cooperation and innovation,” Jon-Ivar Nygård, Norwegian Minister of Transport who opened the naming ceremony, said.

“I would like to pay great tribute to Maritime CleanTech as the prime mover in a Norwegian competence environment, which is a leader in the green maritime industry. I would also like to say a big thank you to the mobility company Kolumbus, which has ventured out on this journey and set the course towards zero-emissions for fast moving passenger vessels,” Nygård added.

In his opening speech, the Minister also pointed out the importance of Rogaland County’s involvement and support of the innovative project. The Rogaland County Mayor Marianne Chesak named the vessel at Skagenkaien.

She highlighted that the project is marking a new and greener future for shipping.

When starting its route for Kolumbus, the fast ferry will transport passengers between Stavanger and the city islands. Replacing the traditional fossil-fueled fast ferry on this route, Medstraum will reduce CO2-emissions equivalent to 30 busses each year.

“Medstraum is already stirring great interest internationally. The maritime industry across the world is now looking at what we achieve in our maritime cluster. This could really be the start of a new adventure for our industry,” Håvard Tvedte, Head of Communications and Public Affairs of Maritime CleanTech, the cluster organisation who initiated the EU-funded TrAM-project, said.

“Not only have the project partners developed and demonstrated a new and emission-free propulsion system that can maintain higher speeds than before, but we have also adopted completely new modular design- and construction methods that will revolutionise the way we build boats in the future.”

Whilst the vessel was put on the sea earlier this year, the project has been long in the making.

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The partner discussions started back in 2016, and two years later, 13 European partners were awarded funding from the EU H2020 program.

The vessel construction began at Fjellstrand Yard in Hardanger last year. At 31 meters long and nine meters wide, Medstraum can carry approximately 150 passengers. Fitted with two electrical engines and a battery with 1,5 MWh capacity the ferry is designed for a service speed of 23 knots.

Courtesy of Maritime CleanTech

Earlier this month, the world’s first battery-only high-speed craft was awarded Ship of The Year prize. Ship builders Fjellstrand Verft and shipowners Kolumbus, a Norwegian public transport company, received the prize at SMM Hamburg.

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