Deployment of electric ferries so far is mostly limited to short sea and coastal sea routes, but in the latest development, Saronic Ferries of Greece today announced its partnership with C-Job Naval Architects to develop the design of the first fully electric RoPax ferry in Greece.
“We are taking a step towards a cleaner world and see our operation in the Saronic Islands as an inspiration for others to start greener fleet renewal projects in Greece,” said partner George Papaioannides. from Saronic Ferries. The company, which is the largest ferry operator to the Saronic Islands of Greece, currently has five older ferries sailing between Piraeus and the islands of Aegina, Agistri, Methana and Poros. They operate all year round, transporting both local commuters and professionals as well as tourists and many visitors to Greece during the tourist season.
The ferry’s design features a variety of sustainable aspects, including all-electric propulsion. It is also larger than most current electric designs and would be exposed to more weather and sea conditions when crossing the Aegean Sea from Piraeus to the islands.
The design calls for a 279-foot-long RoPax that would have a 52-foot beam. It will be able to accommodate up to 800 passengers. It would also carry 85 cars or a combination of six trucks with space for up to 55 cars.
Details were not announced on the proposed power plant and propulsion for the ferry, but they reported that it would recharge in Piraeus. Its top speed would be 14.5 knots. The design would also include state-of-the-art energy-saving solutions and top-notch interior design.
“We are leading the way by encouraging potential stakeholders to accept change and get things done, both in terms of ship design and shore-based infrastructure and procurement. One does not go without the other,” said Joseph Lefakis, another of Saronic Ferries’ partners.
C-Job, which is working on several innovative designs, including a liquid hydrogen tanker barge to create the supply chain from production to end-user delivery for hydrogen, reports that it has tackled the design of the ferry by conducting an in-depth sustainable fuel feasibility study.
“We have been researching alternative fuels and energy sources for nearly a decade and have applied this knowledge and other innovations to our designs. With our experience and our R&D team, we are able to show how design choices will affect operations and create the optimal design for each situation,” said Nikos Papapanagiotou, Director of C-Job Athens.
According to the companies, the ferry is designed to sail between Piraeus and the islands of Aegina and Agistri, as a first step in Saronic Ferries’ goal of operating an emissions-free fleet by 2040. The ferry could enter in service by 2026, provided that the required power infrastructure in the port of Piraeus is in place.