TASMANIAN shipbuilder Incat has joined French ferry operator Brittany Ferries and Finnish marine and energy technology company Wärtsilä to explore design and technical requirements for a 137-metre zero emission ferry.

The announcement comes just weeks after Incat confirmed Danish shipping and logistics company DFDS had commissioned a design study for a 72-metre electric-hybrid ferry that could be used across Europe.

Incat notes it has been an industry leader in the design and construction of aluminium ferries, “and operators around the world are turning to us to reduce their environmental footprint”.

CEO Stephen Casey said he was excited to be involved in the project as Incat pursues ambitions to build more zero emission ferries for the global market.

“Incat has long-standing and successful relationships with Brittany Ferries and Wärtsilä, built upon shared values and a vision for innovation and environmental sustainability,” Mr Casey said.

“We know that battery electric propulsion coupled with lightweight aluminium vessels is the ideal choice to eliminate emissions, and we are thrilled to be continuing our relationship with both companies as we collectively lead the next evolution of sustainable maritime transport throughout Europe.”

Brittany Ferries Chief Executive Christophe Mathieu highlighted Incat as the logical choice for the project.

“This is an important project as we look at different ways to reach net zero by 2050. All-electric power is a potential solution, best suited to shorter ferry routes. Brittany Ferries has a track record of walking the talk when it comes to leading the industry on sustainable ferry travel, as our investment in LNG and hybrid ships shows,” Mr Mathieu said.

Wärtsilä, which will power the 130-metre Incat Hull 096 – the world’s largest battery electric ferry, now under construction for Argentina’s Buquebus and to be named China Zorilla – with its battery electric propulsion system and waterjets, sees ferries as vital in meeting the demand for environmentally sustainable transport solutions.

“As a leader in shaping the decarbonization of the marine industry, we value our long-term relationship with both Brittany Ferries and Incat, sharing a joint commitment to accelerate the industry towards net-zero emissions shipping,” said Roger Holm, EVP at Wärtsilä Corporation.

This collaboration marks a significant step towards a greener future for maritime transport, reinforcing Incat’s commitment to innovation and environmental sustainability, the company said.

Incat founder and chairman Robert Clifford was recently awarded SHIPPAX’s prestigious Lifetime Achievement Award