Australian shipbuilder to deliver the world's largest electric ship


Friday, 25 August, 2023

Australian shipbuilder to deliver the world's largest electric ship

Australian shipbuilder Incat Tasmania has announced that is currently has under construction the largest lightweight battery-electric ship (130 m in length) so far constructed in the world for delivery to its South American customer, Buquebus.

This ship, the world’s largest battery-electric Ro-Pax ferry, will be 100% battery-electric. The energy storage system (ESS) battery storage at over 40 MWh will be four times larger than any battery installation that has been constructed and installed anywhere in the world for the marine transport environment. The batteries power a series of E-motors which drive the water jet propulsion system. The electrical system integration is by Wärtsilä and ESS by Corvus Energy.

The company said that interest in battery-electric ships is very positive and it is now working towards the construction of its second but smaller battery-electric vehicle/passenger ferry.

“We are proud to be building in Tasmania this first-in-class ship for Buquebus who, like us, share a vision to be at the leading edge of low-emission shipping in the world,” said Incat Founder Robert Clifford. “Incat has always been an innovator and once again we are leading the world and the world is taking notice.

“This worldwide interest in Incat’s capabilities to deliver electric ships is a great opportunity for Tasmania and we expect this interest to magnify. We are already increasing our workforce and have just finalised plans for the recruitment of at least another 200 employees over the next 12 months with the expectation that our workforce will more than double in coming years.”

“The build of the Buquebus ship is leading the world in this type of ship construction and will have leading-edge technology in terms of zero-emissions propulsion and storage systems,” said Incat Managing Director Craig Clifford. “Once in operation the shore-side charging systems will have 50% more capacity than any current installation worldwide.”

The Incat Hull 096 will have a capacity for 2100 passengers and crew, and 225 cars, as well as a duty-free shop of over 2000 m2 on the one level.

“Due to Tasmania already having achieved overall net zero emissions we are the only location on the planet that is able to construct zero-emission, battery-electric ships in an already net zero emissions environment for our customers,” Clifford added.

Incat is currently 100% export focused: the 130-metre ferry will operate in Argentina, and large Ro-Pax vessels up to 112 metres in length operate in waters around Europe, the UK, Asia and South America.

In Australia, Incat ferries built as early as the 1980s can still be found operating off the Queensland coast. There are two passenger craft with Port Philip Ferries and 11 on Sydney Harbour; however, none of the large vehicle/passenger ferries operate in Australian waters.

For further information on the 130-metre vessel, go to https://incat.com.au/incat-vessels/096/.

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