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TransTejo will start replacing its older ferries this year, Source: Gerard Gerbes Birges, on Flickr (CC BY-NC-ND 2.0)

Lisbon ferries go electric

Lisbon ferries go electric

The fleet renewal plan will start with 10 electric ships

On Friday, 18 March, the Portuguese Government announced an expenditure approval plan which concerns the renewal of the Transtejo ferry company fleet. The latter is the company that operates services on both banks of the Tagus River in the vicinity of Lisbon.

The renewable in more concrete terms means the acquisition of 10 electric ships as part of the plan to make the ferry services more sustainable and in line with the contemporary standards.

The new models are also more energy-efficient

The first of the new vessels, built by the Spanish shipyard GONDAN, will be delivered this year.

With these ships, which represent an investment of 52,440,000 euros, the company will have an environmentally sustainable fleet of ships. It will be powered by a 100% electric propulsion system, with lower energy consumption than current ships and no GHG emissions (in 2019, diesel consumption was around 5.249 million litres, corresponding to the emission of 13,122 tons of CO2), in line with the policies for decarbonisation,” explained a statement from Transtejo, as quoted by The Portugal News.

Transtejo provides river connections to Lisbon from Seixal, Montijo, Cacilhas and Trafaria/Porto Brandão. It is an essential and important service for residents of the municipalities lying on both banks of the estuary of the Iberian river.

The 40-meter-long ferries are designed based on a catamaran-type hull form specifically optimized to make the most of the almost 2MWh of electrical energy stored in its batteries, with silent operation and no CO2 emissions.

With a capacity of around 540 passengers, they are expected to transport some 19 million people each year across the Tagus River.

The charging system will be centrally located on the vessels, allowing charging on both sides from towers located on the terminal’s floating pontoons. The vessels’ energy storage systems (ESS) are designed for a complete round trip on the longest planned route (using between 20-90% of maximum capacity). In the daytime, the vessels will use fast charging (3-4 MW), while slow charging (0.15-0.2 MW) will be used during the night.

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