Sweden electrifies and automates ferry service with Kongsberg Maritime

Two men shaking hands over a meeting room desk having finalised the agreement.

Kongsberg Maritime has signed a contract with Holland Shipyards Group to provide electrification and control systems for electric ferries, on behalf of the Swedish Transport Administration.

Norwegian marine tech firm Kongsberg says the contract includes two vessels firm for delivery, with an option for two more.

To achieve the dual objectives of electrification and automation, Kongsberg Maritime will provide the ferries’ electrical systems, as well as a comprehensive control system suite, including energy management, navigation, and an all-new situational awareness system linked with automated manoeuvring.

Together with the general automation of all onboard systems and essential port equipment such as charging and mooring, Kongsberg Maritime will also deliver the technology for the remote monitoring and operation centre in Stockholm, and secure communication between ferries, ports, and the control centre. A simulator with 360-degree visuals from Kongsberg Digital is also part of the delivery, enabling the ferry company to train its crew in new operational procedures.

Kongsberg simulator
A Kongsberg simulator

“We will deliver the ferries turn-key to Sweden, including shore charging and auto-mooring. These vessels mark a new step forward for Holland Shipyards Group and the ferry market in general,” says Marco Hoogendoorn, director of Holland Shipyards Group.

Swedish Road Ferries, part of the Swedish Transport Administration, has exclusive rights to operate ferries that connect the national road network.

“This development confirms our view that coastal traffic – and ferries in particular – will be the first ship types to adopt autonomous operations,” said Roger Trinterud, Kongsberg Maritime’s sales director.

The challenges in automating the operations of these ferries include the short routes and the presence of significant on-water traffic, including pleasure boats and occasional ice. According to Erik Froste, CEO of Swedish Road Ferries, these state-of-the-art ferries are good for the environment and increase safety at sea.

A 12-month test period is planned after delivery to further develop and fine-tune automated functionalities, and to demonstrate the ferries’ capabilities to Swedish authorities.

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