INCAT Tasmania and Danish ferry operator and logistics company DFDS have partnered on a design study for the construction of a new electric-hybrid ferry.

The 72-metre ferry would be designed to have the option to convert to fully electric.

DFDS has 12 routes connecting the UK to France, Germany, The Netherlands, Sweden and Denmark. Earlier this month it announced plans to deploy a fleet of battery-electric vessels in the English Channel.

Australian shipbuilder Incat said the new ferry to bewould be suited to a number of ferry routes across Europe.

Incat CEO Stephen Casey said the Tasmanian shipbuilder is “ideally placed” to design and build this next generation of ships for the world market.

“Since launching the design of our series produced electric ships last November there has been significant interest from many ferry operators, and we’re excited to work with DFDS on their projects,” Mr Casey said.

“The Incat 72-metre series is offered in a fully electric model that is suited to many ferry networks around the world.

“We know that battery electric or electric-hybrid propulsion coupled with lightweight aluminium on shorter sea routes will be the ideal choice to cut emissions, and it’s great to see major operators such as DFDS sharing in our goal to shape the future of decarbonisation in maritime transport.”

Mr Casey noted Incat’s work in lightweight aluminium vessel design and construction  over the past four decades.

“Aluminum ferries, being approximately half the weight of their steel counterparts, require less power when operated at similar speeds and deadweights,” he said.

“This results in significant energy savings and emissions reductions.”