New autonomous electric ferries between Danish islands

25. oktober 2022 kl. 15:25
New autonomous electric ferries between Danish islands
The latest illustration of Molslinjen’s new electric ferries. Illustration: Cemre Shipyard.
Two new 116-meter-long electric ferries that will serve Molslinjen’s routes to Samsø and Als will be able to operate autonomously.
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When the Als and Samsø lines get new electric ferries in 2024 and 2025 respectively, the ferries will be able to dock on their own as well as adjust their own sailing speed and make changes during the trip to optimize energy consumption.

This comes from the Turkish Cemre Shipyard, which won the contract for building two new electric ferries that will serve Molslinjen’s routes to Samsø and Als for the next ten years.

The ferries were designed by the Danish company OSK-ShipTech and are to be built at the Cemre Shipyard in Altinova, southeast of Istanbul.

The ferries will be delivered with autonomous functions for both crossing and docking at Fynshav and Bøjden on the Als line and at Kalundborg and Ballen on the Samsø line.

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Cemre Shipyard states that the new ferries meet the applicable regulations for auto-crossing and auto-docking operations.

Because the ferries will sail on fixed routes, it is possible to optimize the route according to different conditions, for example wind and weather.

Four steerable thrusters

The two new ferries are, save a few exceptions, identical.

They will have four steerable thrusters, which are driven by electrical permanent magnet motors. The ferries will also have four backup generators each of 493 ekW, fuelled by HVO, also known as biodiesel.

Artiklen fortsætter efter annoncen

During usual operations, only the ferries’ batteries will supply the required energy for propulsion.

Digital Tech Summit

On the 25 and 26 October 2022, we will gather Denmark’s top researchers, companies, and startups within the field of digital technologies at this year’s Digital Tech Summit.

This year’s main theme is Building European Tech Resilience.

The Future of the Autonomous Ship

25 October at 14:30–15:45

Presentation by DTU, Aarhus University, DFDS, and SIMAC. Organized by DTU.

See the entire program here.

Ingeniøren’s readers get a 30 percent discount on regular admission with the code DTS2022

The event is free for students and startups.

The ferries will be 116.8 metres long and 18.2 metres wide. This makes them 16 metres longer than the ferries that cross the Langeland Belt, with which they share an appearance.

The ferries are so-called ro-ro ferries (roll-on/roll-off, ed.) or double-ended ferries, which can sail both ways without having to turn.

Whether the ferries will actually be able operate autonomously when they are put into operation in 2024 and 2025 is more questionable, partly because the international IMO regulations do not yet allow autonomous operation. It requires a special permit which can be obtained after two years of test operation.

Denmark’s first autonomous passenger ferry, the small catamaran Greenhopper, which will be put into autonomous operation between Musikkens Hus on the Aalborg side of the Limfjord and Stigsborg Brygge on the Nørresundby side in a few months, is still waiting for that permit.

The small catamaran Greenhopper, built at Tuco’s shipyard in Faaborg, will be Denmark’s first autonomous passenger ferry. It is also powered by electricity. Illustration: Port of Aalborg.

It can accommodate 24 passengers, two crew members, prams, bicycles, and wheelchairs. There are departures every 15 minutes, and the crossing takes 5–7 minutes.

Only bid for the Als line

Today, Molslinjen operates 16 ferry routes to and from Fanø, Als, Langeland, Samsø, Bornholm and across the Kattegat, and they therefore already operate the two ferry routes—the Als line between Bøjden and Fynshav, and the Samsø line between Kalundborg and Ballen.

Molslinjen was the only operator that bid for the Ministry of Transport’s tender for the Als line, while the Samsø Municipality presented an alternative bid for the Samsø line, which according to the tender has a total value of DKK 600 million over the ten-year contract.

Samsø Municipality’s offer was never really considered, however, because the municipality had not provided information on the expected total emissions from the ferry’s operation, which would have to be used when evaluating the bids.

The Als line ferry is to be put into operation by September 2024, while the Samsø line ferry is to have its first trip in January 2025.

Molslinjen does not want to reveal the financial details of the two contracts.

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