Indian Register of Shipping ranks first 100-person hybrid catamaran (battery powered)

Indian Register of Shipping recently classified a hybrid (battery powered) catamaran ferry – “Water Metro-01”. This is the first of a series of 23 such vessels built by Cochin Shipyard Ltd. As decarbonization accelerates, industry players are actively working together to develop alternative propulsion systems with the goal of reducing the overall carbon footprint.

The 24.8m catamaran ferry, designed for shore charging and certified to carry 100 passengers, is powered by a hybrid electric propulsion system using lithium titanium oxide (LTO) batteries and DG sets. The capacity of the installed batteries is 122 kWh which is capable of fast charging. Additionally, the vessel can operate with power generated by the DG sets on board as well as in hybrid mode, which is a combination of DG sets and batteries.

The vessel is owned by Kochi Metro Rail Limited (KMRL) and is part of the establishment of a world-class integrated water transport system for the city of Kochi. The vessels are expected to operate on 15 identified routes linking 41 piers across 10 island communities on a 76 km route network and 1 shipyard in Kochi.

The project is a step forward in AtmaNirbhar Bharat’s self-sustaining Indian initiative and represents the collective efforts of CSL, KMRL and IRS.

Mr. Vijay Arora, Managing Director, IRS

The IRS has developed guidelines for battery-powered vessels and the vessel has received a “BATTERY PROP” rating. The BATTERY PROP class notation is assigned to ships whose battery systems are used for ship propulsion and comply with the requirements of these guidelines.

With the increasing trend towards the use of battery power for vessel propulsion/auxiliaries; The experience gained from this project has helped the IRS develop a better understanding of the challenges of using battery systems for domestic ferries. IRS is now fully equipped to provide a comprehensive solution to the industry on battery-powered vessels for both new builds and retrofits.

“The IRS Plan Approval Center and site inspectors have worked closely with Cochin Shipyard Ltd. and other stakeholders to make this project a reality,” said Mr. Vijay Arora, Managing Director. “The IRS is actively working with industry to develop technologies using renewable energy and alternative fuels in line with the IMO’s GHG reduction strategy,” he added.
Source: Indian Registry of Shipping

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