The country”s largest commercial shipbuilder Cochin Shipyard Limited (CSL) on Wednesday said it has signed contracts for construction and supply of two autonomous electric ferries to Norway-based ASKO Maritime, with an option to build two more identical vessels.
The Cochin-based shipbuilder is already constructing 23 hybrid electric boats for Kochi Water Metro.
CSL won this export order after detailed evaluation of various global shipyards and based on its value proposition to the customer, the company said in a release.
ASKO Maritime AS, the subsidiary group of NorgesGruppen ASA, is one of the largest players in the Norwegian retail segment.
The project is expected to catapult CSL into the league of premier shipbuilding yards in the world capable of handling high-tech vessel construction, the release said.
The autonomous electrical vessel project is an ambitious project in Norway, partially funded by the Norwegian Government, aimed at emission-free transport of goods across the Oslo fjord, it said.
The 67 meter-long vessels will initially be delivered as a full-electric transport ferry, powered by 1,846 kWh capacity battery. After commissioning autonomous equipment and field trials in Norway, it will operate as a fully autonomous ferry of ASKO that can transport 16 fully loaded Standard EU trailers in one go across the fjords, CSL said.
The vessels are designed by Naval Dynamics Norway, using Kongsberg Maritime systems, with detailed engineering to be carried out by CSL. They will be built under DNV GL Classification and flagged in Norway, it said.
The vessels will be managed by Massterly AS, the first company set up to take technical management and operate autonomous vessels, a joint venture between autonomous technology leader Kongsberg and Wilhelmsen, which is one of the largest Maritime shipping companies, as per the release.
Once in operation, the vessels will create a new benchmark for merchant shipping world in the field of autonomous vessels with zero carbon emission, CSL claimed in the release.