Battery technology helps to reduce CO2 emissions of ferries

Published on 05.10.2021

Collaboration with other industry players has helped Suomen Lauttaliikenne, Finferries, to develop and successfully implement eco-friendly solutions. An excellent example is Elektra, Finland’s most environmentally friendly ferry, which has been operating since June 2017.

As of 2015, Finferries has collaborated with VTT Technical Research Centre of Finland in calculating the company’s CO2 emissions. VTT verifies the accuracy of the reported figures. The reports show that Elektra, since its launch, has significantly contributed to the reduction of the company’s carbon footprint during the three-year period from 2018 to 2020. Compared with the baseline year, 2016, the company’s CO2 emissions have fallen by 5.4 percentage units per nautical mile by 2020. This is largely thanks to Elektra, but other smaller projects have also contributed to this improvement.

Elektra’s vehicle capacity is 50% larger than Sterna’s, the ferry that Elektra replaced on the Parainen–Nauvo route. Elektra’s CO2 emissions are just 15% compared with Sterna’s corresponding comparable figures. Over the past two years, the company has only used renewable, eco-friendly electricity.

The latest addition to the Finferries fleet will be the new electrically powered hybrid ferry Altera in spring of 2022. Altera will pair up with Elektra to operate the Parainen–Nauvo route. The ferry, currently under construction at the Polish shipyard Crist in Gdynia, is moving ahead according to plan and its launch will take place in November this year.

Altera is 104 metres long, 16.5 metres wide and its draught is 5.1 metres. Its engine power (electric motors) is 2 x 950 kilowatts and the battery capacity is 2 x 0.6 megawatt hours. The ferry fits 92 passenger cars and a maximum of 375 passengers. Altera will operate using battery packs that are charged using shore power, straight from the grid, just like Elektra.

The same eco-friendly technology will also be used in a ferry that will be delivered for the Nauvo–Korppoo route in early 2023. The yet-to-be-christened ferry will operate the route together with Prostvik 1. The keel laying will take place on Tuesday, 12 October 2021.

Suomen Lauttaliikenne Group, which operates under the trade name Finferries, is a state-owned operator of both commuter ferries and road ferries. Each year, more than 4 million vehicles and 10 million passengers travel on Finferries’ vessels, which are operated by more than 300 top professionals, along 42 routes across Finland. 
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