New Zealand transport operator KiwiRail has been awarded government funding worth NZ$400 million (US$247 million) for the acquisition of two new battery hybrid rail-enabled ferries.
The new ferries will replace the three existing vessels in the KiwiRail fleet and will be operated by the company’s Interislander service on the Cook Strait route.
The newbuildings are expected to enter service in 2024 and 2025, respectively.
On Wednesday, May 27, KiwiRail issued a request for proposal (RFP) to find a preferred shipyard to build the new ferries.
The company also confirmed that an undisclosed naval architecture firm has already begun design work on the vessels.
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