Kolumbus and Fjellstrand sign contract for construction of world’s first fully electrical fast ferry

The mobility company Kolumbus and the ship builder Fjellstrand have signed a contract for the delivery of the world’s first fully electrical fast ferry. The project is a key part of Kolumbus’ work to reduce emissions from passenger transport.

The TrAM project (Transport – Advanced and Modular), led by Kolumbus, receives economical support from EU’s Horizon 2020 program to develop new methods for design and production of zero emissions passenger vessels. The project’s goal is to reduce investment costs and delivery time for future zero emission vessels for inshore passenger transport.

The politicians of Rogaland county council have decided to partially finance the construction of this electrical fast ferry, intended to validate the methods developed by the TrAM project. During 2022, the vessel will commence the service of Kolumbus’ route from the city of Stavanger to Byøyene and Hommersåk in a test period.

There are about ten vessels that operate the fast-ferry routes for Kolumbus today. The carbon dioxide emissions from these vessels equal the emissions from all 450 buses that operate Kolumbus’ bus routes in Rogaland. This shows the importance of succeeding in the development of zero emission technology for fast ferries to achieve substantial reductions in emissions from public transport.

The contract between Kolumbus and Fjellstrand was signed this summer, and the construction of the fast ferry will start in May 2021.

Communications Manager of Kolumbus, Grethe Skundberg, says: – Electrifying fast ferries, with speeds between 20 and 30 knots, is challenging. These vessels are energy demanding, and electrification is only possible through good cooperation between strong technology partners. The contract with Fjellstrand, and the good partnership with other technology partners associated with the maritime cluster NCE Maritime Cleantech (Leirvik, Wärtsilä, Servogear and Hydro) make us confident that the development work will succeed.

The vessel will be built in aluminium, a robust material that is easy to recycle, in addition to having low weight.

– We are proud to deliver the world’s first fully electrical fast ferry with zero emissions. The project is yet another example of the Norwegian maritime industry’s global leader position within the development of green technology for the maritime industry, says Sales Manager at Fjellstrand, Edmund Tolo.

This project has received funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under grant agreement No 769303