Incat Tasmania building for Buquebus (Uruguay) the world’s largest all-electric vessel

   August 26, 2023 ,   Cruise Industry

In the shipyards of Hobart (Tasmania Australia), renowned manufacturer Incat Tasmania is presently engaged in constructing the world's largest all-electric vessel.

With an impressive length of 130 m (427 ft) and volume of 13000 GT-tons, this passenger ship stands poised to integrate a substantial 40 MWh battery energy storage system, destined to energize an intricate array of electric propulsion mechanisms and waterjets.

Initiating a new era in sustainable maritime engineering, Incat Tasmania has embarked upon the construction of an innovative lightweight/aluminum ferryboat, poised to become the largest fully battery-electric vessel ever. The elegant catamaran is a Ro-Pax vessel (designed to accommodate both passengers and wheeled cargo) and is commissioned by the Uruguayan company Los Cipreses SA (trading as Buquebus). Buquebus operates ferry services between Argentina and Uruguay (Buenos Aires - Montevideo and Colonia del Sacramento).

The new ferry has an impressive capacity of 2100 passengers and 225 automobiles and develops speeds up to 25 knots (46 kmh / 29 mph).

Guided by the visionary leadership of Mr. Craig Clifford (Incat's Managing Director), the ferry's propulsion is based on two electric drives ensconced within hull-mounted pods.

Under Mr. Clifford's stewardship, the vessel (Incat Hull 096) is poised to encapsulate groundbreaking technology in the realm of zero-emission propulsion and energy storage frameworks. Once operational, the onshore charging infrastructure is set to transcend current global benchmarks by a substantial 50% margin.

Wartsila, a renowned technology conglomerate, has been entrusted with the responsibility of bestowing life upon this visionary vessel through the provision of the electric propulsion and waterjet system. Beyond this critical role, the venerable Finnish entity extends its domain of influence by lending expertise in energy management, power conversion, and the pioneering domain of direct current shore-charging systems.

In a strategic collaboration, Wartsila has designated the Norwegian company Corvus Energy SA to deliver and install the vessel's battery system. With an energy storage capacity exceeding 40 MWh, the battery modules and energy storage construct are poised to surpass prevailing standards for electric or hybrid vessels. This vessel stands as a paragon within its genre, boasting an unparalleled energy storage system and embarking on a pioneering odyssey of emission-free propulsion, attaining peak velocity through charging mechanisms of unparalleled capacity.

As per the projected timeline, the battery systems are slated for delivery in the latter phase of 2024, culminating in the ceremonial introduction of the vessel in the year 2025. Mr. Clifford foresees a burgeoning global fascination with this initiative, anticipating an augmentation thereof as the maritime fraternity's collective journey towards decarbonization gains unprecedented momentum.

Furthermore, Incat Tasmania divulges a parallel endeavor already in progress, focusing on the construction of a secondary, albeit smaller, battery-electric vehicle and passenger ferry. This underscores Incat's steadfast dedication to the noble cause of maritime sustainability, envisioning a future where maritime navigation harmonizes seamlessly with environmental imperatives.