Home » Construction underway for two Norwegian autonomous shipping vessels

Construction underway for two Norwegian autonomous shipping vessels

by Liam Turner
asko shipping containers

Cochin Shipyard has begun the construction of two autonomous, all-electric ro/ro cargo vessels for Norwegian grocery distributor Asko.

Cochin, the builder of India’s first indigenous aircraft carrier and many of its other naval vessels, won the global tender to build the high-tech vessels for Kongsberg/Wilhelmsen joint venture Massterly.

The two new vessels will operate on a set crossing on the Oslofjord, each carrying a maximum of 16 truck trailers at a time.

The vessels are expected to eliminate 1.2m miles of Asko’s truck traffic on a trip between warehouses on either side of the fjord, resulting in savings of 5,000 tons of CO2 annually.

‘Huge’ impact

Commenting on the development, Madhu S Nair, chair and managing director of the shipyard, said: “This is an important project for Cochin Shipyard.

“Though the vessel is a small one, the impact the vessel could make in the field of autonomous and electric vessel segments is huge.”

The contract for the two new autonomous vessels was signed in July 2020, and the steel-cutting ceremony was held on November 25, 2020.

The keel-laying marks the next phase in construction.

Kerala Minister for Industries, P. Rajeeve, who conducted the keel-laying ceremony on behalf of Asko, said: “It is a proud moment for me to be here at Cochin Shipyard.

“This is not only a keel laying ceremony but also an event to strengthen the relationship between India and Norway.”

Kai Just Oslen, managing director of ASKO Maritime AS, attended remotely by teleconference.

Kongsberg and Massterly expect similar contracts to be commissioned in the near future.

Image credit: Kongsberg/Massterly

Read next: Diesel or not to diesel: Should the construction sector go fully electric?

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