VESSEL REVIEW | Frey – First of two fast hybrid catamarans for Norled

Photo: Seam/Magne Langåker

Norwegian transport company Norled recently acquired the first in a new series of two fast catamaran ferries built by local shipyard Oma Baatbyggeri.

The aluminium-hulled, 30-metre-long Frey can transport up to 72 passengers and vehicle freight consisting of either seven cars or a 22-tonne trailer. There is also a separate cargo hold with loading and unloading of freight in this area being done with the aid of a Palfinger Marine knuckle boom crane.

Photo: Norled

The boat design is based on Oma’s combination catamaran concept, of which the company has built and delivered numerous examples since 2001 and that are currently operating along the Norwegian coast. Frey is the first vessel in that same series to be powered by a hybrid diesel-electric propulsion system that guarantees significantly reduced emissions whereas its earlier sisters operated on conventional marine fuels. The need to also be able to operate on battery power is in line with the Vestland County Council’s new guidelines covering greenhouse gas emissions from high-speed passenger vessels operating in the region.

Aluminium was used for the vessel’s construction due to its low weight and high level of resistance to seawater. Ballast tanks are also fitted to balance weights when loading or unloading heavy lorries.

Photo: Seam

The vessel’s hybrid propulsion system delivers a service speed of 22 knots. However, for its regular operational sailings, the ferry will run entirely on electricity. The diesel-electric and battery systems were installed by Seam, which also said the systems were modified to reduce size and weight to ensure space savings on board. These include switchboards, a 2,940kW battery pack, and two 749kW motors.

Seam also equipped the ferry with a manoeuvring control system, an integrated automation system, and energy and power management systems to improve operating efficiency. The other electronics include two Furuno radars.

Oma is scheduled to deliver the second ferry in the same series to Norled in May 2023. The two ferries’ area of operations will encompass the Sogn Fjord, the longest and deepest fjord in Norway. Although the two sisters are scheduled for delivery within this year, their operational sailings under the Norled banner will only commence in 2024.

Photo: Oma Baatbyggeri/Magne Langåker

Click here to read other news stories, features, opinion articles, and vessel reviews as part of this month’s Passenger Vessel Week.

Type of vessel:Ro-Pax ferry
Owner:Norled, Norway
Builder:Oma Baatbyggeri, Norway
Hull construction material:Aluminium
Length overall:30 metres
Capacity:7 cars
Propulsion:2 x Seam, each 749 kW
Cruising speed:22 knots
Batteries:Seam, 2,940 kW
Radars:2 x Furuno
Other electronics:Seam switchboards; Seam manoeuvring control system; Seam integrated automation system; Seam energy management system
Crane:Palfinger Marine
Type of fuel:Diesel
Operational area:Sogn Fjord, Norway

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