Ship classification society Indian Register of Shipping (IRClass) has classed the first hybrid battery-powered catamaran built by Indian shipbuilder Cochin Shipyard.

The Water Metro-01 is the first in a series of 23 such vessels being built by the shipyard in an effort to reduce carbon footprint.

The vessel is a 24.8-metre catamaran ferry designed for shore charging and certified to carry 100 passengers. It is propelled by a hybrid-electric propulsion system by means of lithium titanium oxide (LTO) batteries and DG Sets.

As informed, the capacity of installed batteries, which are capable of fast charging, is 122 kWh. Additionally, the vessel can run on power generated by the onboard DG Sets as well as hybrid mode, which is a combination of both DG sets and batteries.

Owned by Kochi Metro Rail Limited (KMRL), the vessels are part of setting up an Integrated Water Transport System for Kochi city.

The vessels will serve 15 identified routes connecting 41 jetties across 10 island communities across a 76-kilometre route network and one boatyard in Kochi.

In line with its guidelines for battery-powered vessels, IRClass assigned the vessel with the notation “Battery Prop”.

“IRS Plan Approval Centre & Surveyors at site have worked closely with Cochin Shipyard and other stakeholders in making this project a reality”, said Vijay Arora, managing director of IRClass. “IRS is actively working with the industry in developing technologies using renewable energy and alternative fuels in line with the IMO GHG Reduction Strategy”.

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