Incat sells first electric passenger and vehicle ferry

Tasman ferry builder Incat has received its first order for a new electric vehicle ferry design which will be exported to South America.

According to reports, Argentine company Buquebus has ordered what will be Incat’s first-ever electric aluminium catamaran design –  the 148 metre long catamaran ‘utility Ro-Pax’ design (pictured).

Designed by Revolution Design, the vessels will be capable of carrying up to 1,200 passengers and their vehicles at up to 25 knots, driven by two electric drives mounted in pods beneath the hull.

Powered by 5.0 and 9.6 MW propulsion systems, the sale of the vessels was revealed on social media by former Tasman premier, Peter Gutwein who is a strategic adviser to the Hobart company.

Buquebus operates ferries across the River Plate estuary from Buenos Aires to Colonia, near the Uruguayan capital of Montevideo.

Buquebus operates a number of Incat vessels and has previously purchased novel designs from Incat, including gas-powered designs.

The adoption of electric ferries is a response to calls from the International Maritime Organisation (IMO) for a 30 percent reduction in CO2 emissions for new vessel builds from 2025 and a reduction of the world fleet’s overall emissions by 40 percent from 2030.

It is understood the sale was first explored by Incat Chairman and founder Robert Clifford on a 2022 visit to South American ferry operators.

On his return from that trip he said electric vessels offered the possibility of a doubling of the workforce at Incat’s Prince of Wales Bay shipyard to 1,500, with similar increases in the company’s supply chain.

Incat has been approached for comment.

Image: Incat


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