Sep 15, 2023 | Marine environment & clean shipping news

Swiss battery manufacturer Leclanché has been selected for a second battery system project on behalf of Scotland’s Caledonian Maritime Assets Limited (CMAL) for a pair of ro-pax ferries which will serve three islands in Scotland’s Outer Hebrides.

The contract for two 1.1MWh Navius MRS-3TM Marine Rack Systems was awarded to Leclanché by Istanbul-based systems integrator Elkon, part of Germany’s Schottel Group. Elkon had previously selected Leclanché to provide its advanced battery systems for two CMAL ferries, the Loch Indaal and Isle of Islay, being built to serve Scotland’s Inner Hebrides islands of Islay and Jura. Battery systems for the two first projects are scheduled for delivery in 2024 and 2025 and systems for the second set of vessels later in 2025.

The hybrid vessels are being built at Turkey’s CEMRE shipyard. Each vessel will measure 94.8m in length with a capacity for 450 passengers and 100 cars (or 14 commercial vehicles). They will serve the ports of Lochmaddy, the administrative centre of North Uist; Tarbert on the Isle of Harris; and Uig on the Isle of Skye.

Elkon Technology Director Özgür Arslancan said: “Leclanché has proven itself to be a trusted and quality-oriented partner and therefore the basis for this renewed collaboration on our latest CMAL projects. These two new CMAL vessels are nearly identical to those of the Loch Indaal and Isle of Islay – other than raised aft mooring decks to accommodate the higher pier heights at the three ports they will serve. Together with Leclanché, we are helping CMAL to increase capacity, and resilience, on its routes.”

Phil Broad, CEO, Leclanché e-Mobility said: “We are pleased to have been selected, again, by Elkon as its battery system provider for these two new hybrid ro-pax ferries. There is no greater compliment from a business partner than to be specified repeatedly for additional projects. The Navius MRS-3 continues to prove itself throughout the maritime industry as the battery storage system of choice when it comes to reliability, safety, liquid-cooling architecture, low maintenance and reduced footprint.”

The Outer Hebrides Islands, located off the west coast of Scotland, form part of the archipelago of the Hebrides and are separated from the mainland and the Inner Hebrides by the waters of the Minch, the Little Minch and the Sea of the Hebrides. Of the approximate 65 islands, 15 are inhabited with a total estimated population of 26,830.

The new dedicated hybrid vessels will replace current shared vessel routes to provide an expanded and more reliable service. The route will cover some 25 naut miles each way, with a total sailing time of 1 hour 45 minutes between the ports of Uig and Lochmaddy and 1 hour 40 minutes between the ports of Uig and Tarbert. Leclanché’s battery system, which will include its latest cell technology, will allow the ferries to sail into each port quietly and carbon-free.

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