Partners in the TrAM (Transport - Advanced and Modular) project have announced that the construction works on the passenger ferry Medstraum have begun in the Norwegian shipyard Fjellstrand.
The 31 m-long and nine-metre-wide catamaran will have two electric motors and a 1.5 MWh-big battery pack (with 2.0 MW of charging power).
Having a capacity for up to 150 passengers and designed for a service speed of 23 knots, the ship will begin a trial crossing between Stavanger and surrounding communities and islands in spring 2022 to test and validate the project findings.
According to TrAM, Medstraum will be the world's first all-electric and zero-emission fast ferry classed under the International Code of Safety for High-Speed Crafts (HSC Code).
Medstraum's hull and superstructure will be made from aluminium. The project aims to lower production costs and engineering hours for fast electric ferries by 25% and 70%, respectively, using advanced modularisation.
"[...] modularisation is a design-phase concept for handling internal complexity while allowing for external variety. Modular architecture enables individual modules to be combined so that subsequent vessels can be adapted to specific customer requirements. Reusing modules also allows for faster development and production," the project wrote in a press release.
Mikal Dahle, the project's Manager from Kolumbus (an independent mobility services arm of the Rogaland County Council), added, "Increased automation, more efficient use of materials, shorter construction time and lower labour costs together represent a new chapter in shipbuilding while increasing the competitiveness of all stakeholders."
"Streamlined manufacturing is a very important factor as it increases the attractiveness of such vessels in terms of cost and footprint. In addition to their green credentials, they also support the renewed use of inshore waterways in Europe for freight and passenger transport," Hege Økland, CEO of NCE Maritime CleanTech (an industry cluster organisation that initiated the TrAM project), also commented.
The TrAM project scope includes developing two further 'replicator' vessels: one for passenger operations on the River Thames in London and the other for deployment on inland waterways in Belgium.
The project has kicked off in 2018 and received support (€11.7m) from the EU Horizon2020 research & innovation programme. The Research Council of Norway has granted funding to TrAM for dissemination activities.
Read more in the article Why can't a ship be bought as easily as a car? Modularisation in the maritime industry.
Photo: Kolumbus/NCE Maritime Cleantech