Cochin Shipyard to build electric vessels for Norway’s ASKO

Cochin Shipyard Ltd (CSL) has signed contracts for the construction of two autonomous electric ferries for Norway-based ASKO Maritime AS. The contract carries an option for two more identical vessels

July 16, 2020

The autonomous electric vessels are designed by Naval Dynamics Norway using Kongsberg Maritime systems, with the engineering to be done by CSL

With the expansion of a dual dry dock at the Cochin Shipyard, India is all set to emerge as a one-stop maritime hub for the repair and construction of ships

While CSL is the largest commercial shipbuilder in India, ASKO Maritime is a subsidiary of Norges Gruppen ASA, a leading player in the Norwegian retail segment

Once in operation, these vessels are expected to set a new benchmark for merchant shipping with autonomous vehicles in zero-carbon emission

Cochin Shipyard to build autonomous electric vessels for Norway’s ASKO maritime

Cochin Shipyard Ltd (CSL) has signed contracts for the construction of two autonomous electric ferries for Norway-based ASKO Maritime AS. The contract, signed on July 16, carries an option for two more identical vessels. The contract to build the world’s first fully automatic electric vessel comes as a historic milestone for the Indian shipbuilding industry. While CSL is the largest commercial shipbuilder in India, ASKO Maritime is a subsidiary of Norges Gruppen ASA, one of the largest players in the Norwegian retail segment. The contract comes as CSL is constructing 23 hybrid electric boats for the Kochi Water Metro.

The 67-meter long vessels will initially be delivered as a Full-Electric Transport Ferry, powered by 1,846 kWh capacity battery. After the commissioning of the autonomous equipment and field trials in Norway, it will operate as a fully autonomous ferry that can transport 16 fully loaded Standard EU trailers across the fjords. The vessels are designed by Naval Dynamics Norway using Kongsberg Maritime systems, with the engineering to be done by CSL. They will be built under DNV GL Classification and flagged in Norway. This project is expected to catapult CSL into the league of premier Shipbuilding yards in the world.

The Autonomous Electrical Vessel, an ambitious project partially funded by the Norwegian Government, is aimed at emission-free transport of goods across the Oslo fjord. The vessels will be managed by M/s. Massterly AS, the first company set up to handle technical management and operation of autonomous vessels. Massterly is a joint venture between M/s. Kongsberg, a developer of autonomous technology, and M/s. Wilhelmsen, a maritime shipping company. Once in operation, these vessels are expected to set a new benchmark for merchant shipping with autonomous vehicles in zero-carbon emission.

Meanwhile, with the expansion of a dual dry dock at the Cochin Shipyard, India is all set to emerge as a one-stop maritime hub for the repair and construction of ships. The dual dry dock is expected to have the capacity to handle the repair and construction of specialized vessels, including jack-up rigs, drillships, large dredgers, and second indigenous aircraft carriers in addition to offshore platforms and larger vessels. Expected to be ready by May 2021, the US$250-million project, being build as part of India’s Sagarmala programme, would be able to accommodate both aircraft carriers and merchant’s vessels.