TS Laevad, a subsidiary of listed port company Tallinna Sadam that operates ferries connecting Western Estonia's major islands to the mainland, has signed an agreement with Estonian shipbuilder Baltic Workboats AS to convert the ferry Tõll into a hybrid vessel.
The total size of the investment is €1.6 million, Tallinna Sadam told the Tallinn Stock Exchange (TSE) on Tuesday.
In the course of reconstruction work, a battery bank will be installed on the vessel, which serves the Virtsu-Kuivastu route, to reduce the consumption of diesel and cut exhaust gas emissions by replacing fossil fuel with electricity stored in battery banks.
TS Laevad CEO Jaak Kaabel said that TS Laevad expects to reduce the consumption of diesel fuel by one-fifth as a result of the hybridization project.
"We believe that on shorter ferry routes, environmentally friendly electric-powered ships are the future of ferry traffic, both in Estonia and elsewhere, especially considering the global climate targets for reducing CO2 emissions," Kaabel said. "If the project is successful, the technology will be deployed on all four new ships."
According to the CEO, TS Laevad was the first in Estonia to deploy a diesel-electric solution on a ferry operating on a route with a high number of departures and maneuver operations per day, as well as in subzero temperatures and under ice conditions in winter.
The main contractor in the project is Baltic Workboats. The battery banks will be supplied by Corvus Energy, the automation equipment by Norwegian Electric Systems, and the peak-shaving hybrid solution designed by LMG Marin.
Conversion work to begin in mid-October will largely be carried out with the ferry still in operation. The Tõll will be taken out of service for a period of up to two weeks for the final transfer to battery power. According to the agreement, the Tõll will run on the power supply of its battery banks by Feb. 19, 2020 at the latest.
Editor: Aili Vahtla