A milestone contract has been announced: a Norwegian municipality and maritime cluster have been awarded €11.7M to develop an electric high-speed ferry.
Rogaland County Municipality and NCE Maritime CleanTech’s grant is one of the largest amounts to have been awarded to a single project in the EU’s Horizon2020 research programme. The project will also conduct two studies for the same type of vessel in London and the inland waterways of Belgium.
This project will encourage more battery-powered ferry projects to develop – it is bringing the technology to the high-speed ferry market and as Maritime CleanTech general manager Hege Økland said “It will contribute to making electric-powered high-speed vessels competitive in terms of both cost and the environment.” For example, it will develop new manufacturing methods that will contribute to 25% lower production costs and 70% lower engineering costs.
It highlights the importance of forming maritime clusters in getting projects like this off the ground and winning grants that will allow them to develop such vessels. Maritime CleanTech consists of 75 Norwegian maritime companies and focuses on developing energy efficient and environmentally friendly solutions.
And the project spans those further afield – other partners include MBNA Thames Clippers.
This contract will open doors for other electric high-speed ferries to be built and could well encourage other maritime clusters to form to develop similar projects. The four-year project will start in Q2 this year.