Technology group Wärtsilä has partnered with San Francisco’s Water Emergency Transportation Authority (WETA) to provide its technology for the first zero-emission high speed ferries in the USA.
Wärtsilä will provide its Fleet Electrification and Systems Integrator Services to WETA for ferries in the San Francisco Bay, which are undergoing phased decarbonisation as part of WETA’s Rapid Electric Emission-Free Ferry programme.
“We’re proud to operate the cleanest high-speed ferry fleet in the nation, but a zero-emission future for our system is within reach,” said Seamus Murphy, executive director of WETA. “Wärtsilä’s expertise and experience will be incredibly valuable given the complexity our ferry decarbonisation programme entails.”
WETA has commissioned three smaller ferries with a capacity of approximately 150 passengers each, and two larger ferries capable of carrying at least 300 passengers. All of the vessels will be fully electric. Construction is expected to start before the end of 2023, with the ferries beginning operations by 2025.
“This is a major project within the maritime sector’s journey towards decarbonisation, and we are proud to be a part of it,” said Hanno Schoonman, director of sales for the Americas, Wärtsilä Marine Power. “Wärtsilä joins an industry-leading team tasked to develop newbuild battery electric vessels that combine innovative technology and sustainable practices. Wärtsilä is well qualified to provide this project support, and this agreement is a clear endorsement of our strong track record in systems integration and emission-free propulsion.”