Defence News India: In a major achievement for India’s ship building industry, public sector shipbuilder Cochin Shipyard Limited (CSL) has won a contract for construction and supply of two autonomous electric ferries for ASKO Maritime AS, Norway.
The 67 meters long vessels will initially be delivered as a Full-Electric Transport Ferry, powered by 1,846 kilowatt capacity battery.
“CSL won this export order after detailed evaluation of various global shipyards and based on its value proposition to the customer,” said the shipyard.
“CSL’s proven capability & track record to deliver world quality high-end vessels to prestigious clients in Western Europe also found favour with the Client,” Cochin Shipyard Limited said.
CSL said this contract is very important for the company and it has been obtained despite the constraints posed by the pandemic.
ASKO Maritime AS is a subsidiary of NorgesGruppen ASA, one of the largest players in the Norwegian retail segment.
CSL’s automatic electric ferry vehicle for ASKO
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.
After commissioning of autonomous equipment and field trials in Norway, the electric vessel will operate as a fully autonomous ferry of ASKO that can transport 16 fully loaded Standard EU trailers in one go across the fjords.
Make in India for the world
The contract involves the option to construct to more vessels by the Cochin Shipyard Limited which has been engaged in designing, building, and repair work for both commercial and naval ships for the Indian Navy and other global customers.
According to CSL, 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 ambitious project is partially funded by the Norwegian government, and aims at emission-free transport of goods across the Oslo-fjord.
These vessels will be managed by Massterly AS, the first company setup to take technical management and operate autonomous vessels, a joint venture between Kongsberg, an autonomous technology company, and Wilhelmsen, one of the largest maritime shipping companies in the world.
Once in operation, this automatic electric ferries will create a new benchmark for the merchant shipping world in the field of autonomous vessels with zero carbon emissions, said CSL.
CSL is already building 23 hybrid electric boats for the Kochi Water Metro.