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Thursday, July 16, 2020 

Cochin Shipyard Limited (CSL), Kochi, India, has signed contracts for the construction of two zero-emission autonomous electric ferry vessels for Norway, with an option to build two more identical vessels.

CSL, the largest commercial shipbuilder in India, secured the order from ASKO Maritime, a subsidiary  of Norges Gruppen, one of the largest players in the Norwegian retail segment.

This autonomous electrical vessel project is partially funded by the Norwegian Government, which aims for emission-free transport of goods across the Oslo fjord. The vessels will be managed by Massterly, a company set up to take technical management and operate autonomous vessels, a joint venture between Kongsberg and Wilhelmsen.

The 67m vessels will initially be delivered as a full-electric transport ferry, powered by a 1846 kWh capacity battery bank. After commissioning of autonomous equipment and field trials in Norway, it will operate as a fully autonomous ferry for ASKO, transporting 16 fully loaded Standard EU trailers at a time across the fjords. Design is by Naval Dynamics Norway using Kongsberg Maritime systems, with detailed engineering to be carried out by CSL, they will be built under DNV GL class and flagged in Norway.

CSL says it won this export order after detailed evaluation of various global shipyards and based on its value proposition to the customer. CSL is already constructing 23 Hybrid Electric boats for the Kochi Water Metro. A yard spokesman said the project is expected to catapult CSL into the league of premier Shipbuilding yards in the world capable of handling high tech vessel construction.

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