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Estonia’s first hybrid ship Tõll goes on its first voyage

02.09.2020 18:30

Starting September 2, passengers on the Virtsu-Kuivastu line will be served by the ferry Tõll, which has been converted into the first hybrid passenger vessel in Estonia. Its batteries allow partial travel on electricity, which reduces the amount of diesel used and minimizes air pollution.

The batteries for the first hybrid voyage were started by the Minister of Economy and Infrastructure Mr. Taavi Aas, the chairman of the council of TS Laevad Mr. Valdo Kalm, and the chairman of the management board of TS Laevad Mr. Jaak Kaabel.

The chairman of the management board of TS Laevad Jaak Kaabel noted that the retrofitting of Tõll is the next step in improving the environmental friendliness of all ferry shipping, to which the company has paid increased attention over the past years. “For several years now, we have been working to completely eliminate the use of fossil fuel on ferries in Väinameri and achieve the zero-emission goal. The transformation of Tõll into Estonia’s first hybrid passenger ship is an important step in this direction,” said Jaak Kaabel, adding that if the partially battery-powered solution proves efficient and justified, other new ships of the company will follow suit.

During the reconstruction works, which cost almost 1.6 million euros, TS Laevad installed batteries at Tõll, which will reduce diesel consumption by 20% thus also reducing CO2 emissions by 1600 tons per year. In addition to emissions, underwater noise and vibration levels are also reduced.

According to the Minister of Economy and Infrastructure Taavi Aas, the entire transportation sector is moving towards achieving the climate goals, and TS Laevad that provides for transport between the mainland and the islands, plays an important part here. “Ambitious climate targets are accelerating the transition to cleaner technologies and solutions. The first hybrid passenger vessel is a development benchmark for all ferry shipping in Estonia,” Aas said.

TS Laevad was the first company in Estonia to use a diesel-electric hybrid solution on a ferry that runs with many daily departures and manoeuvres, including in the winter months – in sub-zero temperatures. Previously, the battery technology anywhere in the world has not been used on such a large passenger ferry operating in ice conditions in winter.

The retrofitting of Tõll began in 2019. The construction work was carried out by Baltic Workboats acting as a general contractor, the batteries were supplied by Corvus Energy, the electrical and automatic equipment by Norwegian Electric Systems, and the peak-shaving hybrid solution was designed by LMG Marin.

A photo gallery of the first hybrid voyage of Tõll is available >> here

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