Kolkata: India's leading shipbuilder Garden Reach Shipbuilders and Engineers (GRSE) Ltd has launched a next-generation (NG) electric ferry named ‘Dheu’ (which means ‘wave’). The vessel, which is West Bengal's first next-gen electric ferry, was launched in the traditional way by GRSE's General Manager (Human Resources) Lipi Das in the presence of CMD Cmde PR Hari IN (Retd) on Thursday.
GRSE's Director (Finance) RK Dash, Director (Shipbuilding) Cdr Shantanu Bose IN (Retd), and DIrector (Personnel) DIG Subrato Ghosh, ICG (Retd.) were also present at the occasion along with other senior officials.
This vessel being constructed for the Government of West Bengal holds the prospect of replacing diesel-engine run ferries with Green platforms that use only battery and solar power.
The launch of the NG Electric Ferry ‘Dheu’ kickstarts several opportunities in zero emission transport contributing to growth of waterways of India in line with the Maritime India Vision-2030, which can complement road/rail-based cargo and passenger transport.
Speaking at the launch GRSE CMD Cmde PR Hari IN (Retd) said that the launch of this “Green Vessel” is a major accomplishment and when delivered, “Dheu” shall be a gamechanger that shall revolutionise the Inland Waterways transportation sector”. “New Technology adaption with specific thrust on autonomous and Green energy platforms has been a key focus area for GRSE, and the coming months shall see the development of more such new products”, he said.
The 24-metre-long Next Generation Electric Ferry designed by GRSE will be powered by a 246 Kilowatt per hour (kWh) liquid-cooled Energy Storage Solution. It is ergonomically designed to carry 150 passengers in air-conditioned comfort and with no noise or engine vibrations.
The Ferry will have twin screw propellers for greater maneuverability and a Catamaran Aluminum hull which will allow speeds up to 10 knots. It will have solar panels to augment the power supply. "It is being built to comply with the latest classification society rules of Indian Register of Shipping (IRS) related to passenger safety", the defence PSU said in a press statement. Once launched, the vessel shall undergo harbor and afloat trials and shall thereafter be delivered to the Govt of West Bengal.