VESSEL REVIEW | Oslofjord II – New 350-pax electric commuter ferries for Norway’s Boreal

Photo: Misje

Turkey’s Sefine Shipyard has delivered the second and third vessels in a series of five double-ended, all-electric ferries ordered by Norwegian company Boreal for operation to and from the islands in the inner Oslofjord. The acquisition of the newer electric vessels is in line with the goal of ensuring all modes of public marine transportation in the Oslo region will be emission-free by 2028.

Designed by Norwegian naval architects Multi Maritime in compliance to DNV class rules, Oslofjord II and Oslofjord III each have a length of 35 metres, a beam of eight metres, a draught of 2.2 metres, a gross tonnage of 410, and two decks capable of accommodating up to 350 passengers. The main and upper cabins have large windows to provide passengers with better views of the surroundings.

The new five-ferry series offers significant improvements in passenger capacity, as the earlier ferries that operate on the same routes just off the Norwegian capital were limited to only 236 passengers each. The newer ferries also feature improved ice navigation capability.

The newbuilds are fitted with 1,017kWh battery packs supplied by Westcon Power and Automation as well as automation systems from Seam. The battery pack on each ferry supplies power to two Schottel SRE 250kW propellers to deliver a service speed of just over 11 knots.

Photo: Oyen

Charging is done with the aid of a dedicated floating jetty located near the Aker Brygge neighbourhood in central Oslo. Multi Maritime said the specially designed jetty is capable of charging two ferries simultaneously, resulting in faster turnarounds.

The new ferries were designed to guarantee improved access for passengers with limited mobility. Among the key features that were thus included are wider walkways and a lift that will allow wheelchair-bound passengers to move between decks.

The wheelhouse on each vessel has crew seats from NorSap while Libra-Plast supplied all exterior doors. Liferafts from Viking Life-Saving Equipment are also available on board.

Following their official entry into service in June 2022, Oslofjord II and Oslofjord III are being operated by Boreal subsidiary Boreal Sjø under a long-term contract signed with Ruter, the local public transport authority for all of Oslo. Sister vessel Oslofjord IV recently arrived in Oslo and is undergoing preparations for inspection by local authorities, a prerequisite for the commencement of operational sailings later this year.

The contract between Boreal and Ruter commenced in the fourth quarter of 2021 with the arrival of series lead vessel Oslofjord I and will expire in 2034.

Photo: Misje

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Oslofjord II & Oslofjord III
Type of vessel:Commuter ferries
Owner:Boreal, Norway
Operator:Boreal Sjø, Norway
Designer:Multi Maritime, Norway
Builder:Sefine Shipyard, Turkey
Length overall:35 metres
Beam:8.0 metres
Draught:2.2 metres
Gross tonnage:410
Propulsion:2 x Schottel SRE 250kW propellers
Cruising speed:11 knots
Batteries:Westcon Power and Automation, 1,017 kWh
Other equipment installed:Wheelchair lift; Libra-Plast exterior doors
Liferafts:Viking Life-Saving Equipment
Operational area:Oslo, Norway

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