Estonia announces tender for zero-emission ferry powered by hydrogen fuel




Estonia announces tender for zero-emission ferry powered by hydrogen fuel.


Estonia has launched a call for tender for a €40m zero emissions ferry which will run entirely on hydrogen fuel.


The next generation ferry is earmarked for crossings between the Estonian main islands and scheduled to start operations in October 2026.


Project Manager Valentin Bratkov said initially different activities such as navigation, including docking and mooring, shore-side electrical charging, and engine room operations can be fully self-running, and in future, be operated remotely.


In collaboration with the researchers of the Estonian Maritime Academy, a structural unit of Tallinn University of Technology, the ferry concept was developed with a strong focus on the capability to create a prototype of a digital twin during construction of the ferry.


The digital twin will help during ferry operation to analyse current digital data streams and compare them with historical data, improving the optimal use of the ferry.


A conceptual ferry design and feasibility study were developed with the Finnish company Deltamarin in the preparatory phase of the construction project to verify which characteristics and capabilities of the ferry are best suited for Estonian routes in the long term.

In October, Estonian State Fleet contracted Hamburgische Schiffbau-Versuchsanstalt GmbH (HSVA)to further investigate the new ferry performance capability in ice-covered waters.

The 700-person ferry will accommodate just over 1,000 lane metres for cars, about 20% more than the previous generation ferries. 


Additionally, passenger comfort is prioritized in the concept design with amenities such as an on-board restaurant, a shop, an extended recreation area, comfortable kids play area and indoor/outdoor pets area.


The deadline for submission of tenders for the construction and design of the vessel is January 17 2024.


The new ferry aims to start operating on the Virtsu–Kuivastu route on October 1 2026. The shipbuilding will be financed by the European Modernisation Fund and revenues from CO2 emissions trading.


Estonian State Fleet is a centre for maritime competence and innovation, dedicated to developing and managing state-owned vessels, navigation signals, and piloting services, and supporting the transition to green fuels and sustainable technologies.



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