Kolkata-based Garden Reach Shipbuilders & Engineers Ltd (GRSE) has launched an electric, double-hulled catamaran ferry, ordered for use by the Government of West Bengal. Named Dheu, the newbuild features a length of 24m, an aluminium hull and an FRP superstructure, and can carry up to 150 persons.
Dheu was built to Indian Register of Shipping (IRS) guidelines for battery-powered vessels. The cat incorporates a 246kW-capacity, liquid-cooled battery system, which can be charged by a shore-based charger and/or deck-mounted solar panels, the latter capable of generating 18kW per hour. IRS states: “In addition, the vessel incorporates an efficient energy management system, which maximises the use of solar power to achieve speeds of up to 10knots through two 50kW electric motors.” As back-up, the ferry also carries a 50kW diesel generator, to ensure that onboard power (including lighting) remains functional in the event of an emergency.
Speaking at the ferry’s launch ceremony, Vijay Arora, MD of IRS, commented: “Dheu meets the requirements of our guidelines, which we will continue to update as we gain more experience. This vessel not only marks a technological milestone in electric ferry technology but also signifies the collaborative efforts of IRS and GRSE, ushering in a new era of sustainable and environmentally conscious maritime solutions.”