Stockholm-based Echandia has signed an agreement to supply the world’s first emission-free high-speed catamaran, called the Beluga24, with an integrated battery and hydrogen-based fuel cell system. The installation will take place in the autumn of 2022.
The client is Green City Ferries AB, and the catamaran is being planned for commercial traffic in Stockholm, Sweden. The Beluga24 model is designed by Teknicraft in New Zealand and the Italian Studio Sculli and is built in carbon fiber by Green City Ferries north of Stockholm.
This unique passenger ferry is based on proven air-foil technology. A midship-placed foil lifts the ship halfway out of the water at high speed and thereby reducing the water-resistance significantly. This means less energy consumption and less wake wash. Green City Ferries expects the new carbon fiber ship to consume 30 kWh per nautical mile at 30 knots, which is almost half of what a conventional catamaran consumes.
The power supply comes from Japanese LTO batteries and/or Canadian fuel cells, which ensure the catamaran delivers high performance and short charging times. The Beluga24 can comfortably fit up to 150 passengers, and there is also room for 30 bicycles.
Echandia’s battery and fuel cell propulsion system is claimed to require less hydrogen than standard and therefore save a lot of weight. The battery part is also significantly lighter than the competing solutions.
“Sweden has been lagging behind internationally when it comes to electrifying shipping, but now the pace is increasing here as well,” said Magnus Eriksson, CEO, Echandia. “We are proud to be a part of this project that not only contributes to reducing emissions from Stockholm’s waterborne local transport but is also the first in the world with an emission-free high-speed catamaran. The ferry will be equipped with an integrated system with both batteries and hydrogen, which is significantly more energy efficient compared to solutions with separate systems.”
According to Echandia, Stockholm’s vessels account for circa 5% of energy consumption but about 50% of carbon dioxide emissions annually. Green City Ferries’ goal is to switch to emission-free and fast waterborne transport in the world’s cities.