Incat Tasmania constructing world’s largest battery electric ro-pax ferry

Vessel for South American operator Buquebus will feature battery storage by Corvus Energy

Incat Tasmania constructing world’s largest battery electric ro-pax ferry

Incat Tasmania

The 130-metre ship will sail for Buquebus between Argentina and Uruguay on the longest zero-emission route in the world

By Alex Smith |

Incat Tasmania is constructing the world’s largest battery-electric ro-pax ferry for delivery to South American operator Buquebus.

The 130-metre ship will feature an energy storage system (ESS) from Corvus Energy with a capacity of more than 40 megawatt hours, the largest battery system installed onboard a ship, four times as big as the current largest installation.  The batteries power a series of e-motors, which drive the water jet propulsion system. The electrical system integration will be carried out by Wärtsilä.

The vessel will also be the first fully electric ship operating in South America, sailing between Argentina and Uruguay. This will be the longest and highest-speed zero-emission journey, and will be charged with the world’s highest capacity chargers.

“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 Craig Clifford, managing director of Incat. “Once in operation the shoreside charging systems will have 50 per cent more capacity than any current installation worldwide.”

The battery system is enabled by Corvus’ latest lightweight battery, Dolphin NextGen, which is based on the architecture of the Corvus Blue Whale ESS. Dolphin NextGen’s low weight and volumetric density allows it to be deployed flexibly onboard ships. The battery systems are scheduled for delivery at the end of 2024.

“This groundbreaking project marks a turning point in the maritime industry's effort to transition towards greener means of transportation,” said Halvard Hauso, commercial director for Europe at Corvus Energy. “Combining cutting-edge technology, environmental consciousness, and innovative design, it redefines the future of ferry operations worldwide and paves the way for other large, zero-emission vessels.”

The Incat Hull 096 will have a capacity for 2,100 passengers and crew, 225 cars, and will also include a duty-free shop of over 2000 square metres. It is scheduled to enter operation in 2025.

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