Australian shipbuilder Incat Tasmania is constructing the largest lightweight battery electric ship in the world for South American customer Buquebús. The 130-meter ro-pax ferry will be the first fully electric vessel in South America and will operate between Argentina and Uruguay starting in 2025. It will have a capacity for 2,100 passengers and crew, 225 cars, and a duty-free shop of over 2,000 square meters. The ship will sail on the longest zero-emission journey at the highest speed and will be charged with the world’s highest capacity chargers. The onboard energy storage system will be four times larger than any battery installation in the marine transport industry. The lightweight battery technology developed by Corvus has enabled this project, with the batteries powering a water jet propulsion system designed for shallow water operation.
The ship will feature eight waterjets, four steerable and four booster jets, to meet the shallow water operation requirements. The full scope of supply from Wärtsilä includes the energy management system, power conversion system, DC shore charging system, battery modules, electric motors, waterjets, and propulsion control system. Incat Tasmania’s Managing Director, Craig Clifford, highlighted that Tasmania’s achievement of overall net zero emissions allows them to construct zero-emission, battery electric ships in an already environmentally friendly environment. Incat Chairman, Robert Clifford, mentioned that they are currently working on several projects and that in five years, this type of project may no longer be considered significant.
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