South Korea backs its first zero emissions ferry

The electric ferry represents progress towards the nation’s pledge to reach net zero by 2050

Big Zero Report 2023

Global technology company ABB has agreed a deal to power South Korea’s first all-electric passenger ferry. The company has signed a contract with Haemin Heavy Industries shipyard to power the zero emissions ferry for the Busan Port Authorities.

South Korea’s Green New Deal was announced in 2020 and stated the country’s aim to achieve net zero by 2050. The new electric ferry is the nation’s first commitment in a push to replace 140 regular state-owned vessels with a cleaner alternative.

ABB will be responsible for powering the vehicle, while Busan-based shipbuilder Haemin will be responsible for the ship’s construction.

The ferry is expected to begin operations in 2022 and can carry up to 100 passengers and five crew members. It will transport passengers between Busan’s North and South ports.

Powered by two 1,068kWh battery packs, the ship will be able to complete four return journeys before needing to charge, which will be done during overnight stops.

Haemin CEO, Hyeong-seok Oh, said: “Being commissioned to build the first ever fully electric vessel for the South Korean market is a great honour. We are looking forward to working with ABB, whose proven technologies and long presence in South Korea are a key part of this landmark project.”

According to trade association Interferry, the global ferry industry is responsible for the transportation of more than two billion passengers annually and is under immense pressure to reduce its emissions.

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