The Op Stroom in action , Source: Agentschap Maritieme Deinstverlening en Kust

Antwerp premiers electric ferry and it's extremely quiet

Antwerp premiers electric ferry and it's extremely quiet

The new vessel was produced in Estonia, and it will transfer both pedestrians and bikes

Today, the first electric ferry premiered in Antwerp, Belgium. The vessel is called the “Op Stroom” and it will travel between Linkeroever and Steenplein moving both bicycles and pedestrians across the Scheldt river. The ferry will recharge between round trips, but it is also equipped with solar panels to increase its battery charge.

The Op Stroom is CO2 neutral and is extremely quiet, improving quality of life by decreasing noise pollution. Nevertheless, local maritime authorities say it is still hard to gauge the cost of the electric ferry operation because the prices of electricity are in constant flux due to the energy crisis.

According to an official statement, the goal is to gradually move towards a more sustainable fleet of the Flemish Agency for Maritime Services and Coast (Agentschap Maritieme Deinstverlening en Kust).

The promise of electric seaborne vessels   

The electric ferry can carry 150 passengers and there is also room for 75 bicycles. Additionally, it will be charged every hour during its round trips, with the charging station located on the left bank in Linkeroever.

The ship was produced in Estonia and it cost 5.5 million euros. Additionally, it is the second electric ferry in local Coastal Service, with the first one operating in Ostend. The third one is supposed to service Nieuwpoort, on the North Sea.

Peter van Camp, a spokesman for Flemish Agency for Maritime Services and Coast was quoted by the VRT, explaining that when a conventional ship needs to be taken out of service, it should be replaced with an electric, sustainable alternative. This would gradually shift the fleet to lower carbon emissions.

He also pointed out that the ship is equipped with solar panels to power all the electronics on board, such as air conditioning and control systems. He continued by saying that this would make the ferry more self-sufficient and economical compared to its counterparts.  



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