Incat Tasmania has unveiled new plans to – as the company puts it – ‘do for short sea ferry services what Boeing did for the aviation industry’, but with zero emissions.
Led by Incat founder Robert Clifford, Incat has been involved in the passenger and vehicle fast ferry market for four decades. Incat led the development of large vehicle carrying catamarans in the 1990s and, according to the company, is again showing what is possible by constructing the world’s largest lightweight battery electric ferry with a capacity to carry more than 2000 passengers and 225 vehicles, giving rise to the current ambition to make zero emission battery electric vessels more readily available globally.
Clifford said: “Boeing was able to do it with aircraft over the last 100 years, and we are working on an expansion plan to enable the Incat Shipyard to produce multiple battery electric vessels each year. We are offering the global ferry market options for series produced vessels both small and large just like Boeing did with the mass produced 737 and Airbus did with the larger Airbus 380. Our shipyard is ideally placed to produce multiple smaller 70m vessels as well as a larger vessel over 140m every year. Interferry will bring more than 400 industry delegates to Hobart, and we will be launching the first design of a series produced 70m ship which will ensure costs for these new battery electric vessels are minimised, whilst producing them to the highest standards. Incat will build these ships to its trademark high-quality design and every customer will have the ability to create their own statement with each vessel through internal fixtures, fittings and design. And if they want a bespoke option, we can design that too. Our plan to double the workforce is underway and I anticipate that over the next couple of years we will have more than 1000 workers on site.”
According to Clifford, to reduce emissions in line with ambitions around the world, and to meet customer expectations over the next decade, hundreds if not thousands of zero emission ships need to be built.
Clifford continued: “Battery electric propulsion coupled with lightweight aluminium constructed ships on shorter sea routes will be the ideal choice to cut emissions. Our plan is to revolutionise the world shipping industry once again by delivering more zero emission ships more efficiently than anyone else. This will benefit ferry owners, their customers, and importantly, our environment.”