New generation of passenger ferries for Hong Kong to be classed by Bureau Veritas

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Bureau Veritas announces the classification of nine ferries that will transport over 5 million passengers annually on three routes between Hong Kong and outlying islands Lamma Island, Peng Chau, and Hei Ling Chau.

The nine high speed craft (HSC) will measure between 35 and 40 metres; eight vessels will be in full carbon fibre composite and one unit will be in full aluminium.

This new generation of vessels will be built under the Hong Kong Government Vessel Subsidy Scheme (VSS) to replace the existing ferries, upgrading safety and environmental standards including ensuring compliance with the safety standard High-Speed Craft Code 2000.

Marine diesel engines compliant with IMO Tier III requirements will be fitted as the main propulsion system. In addition, two of the nine vessels will be propelled by diesel electric hybrid propulsion systems as part of a trial programme led by Hong Kong’s Environmental Protection Department. This will enable these ferries to operate in zero-emission mode as an option during manoeuvring and berthing.

Alex Gregg-Smith, Senior Vice President & Chief Executive, North Asia and China, Bureau Veritas Marine & Offshore, said: “Working in collaboration and supporting all stakeholders involved in this project, Bureau Veritas’ certifications will help ensure ferry safety as well as their comfort, energy efficiency and environmental compliance. Energy efficiency and improved environmental performance have become top priorities in order to reduce operational costs and meet stricter environmental regulations.”

All nine of the ferries will be fitted with approximately 102 m2 solar panels and battery systems to capture solar energy for on board electricity consumption. The hybrid vessels will also be fitted with air-cooled Lithium-ion modular battery systems as an alternative propulsion system. The vessels are expected to be delivered between the end of 2023 and early 2025.

The ferries will be built in Hong Kong by Cheoy Lee, one of the few yards in the world to routinely build vessels with steel, fiberglass, aluminium, and various combinations of these materials, to globally recognized standards and regulations.

With a large in-country network of technical experts and surveyors, Bureau Veritas is able to offer in-depth design expertise and thorough technical review as well as extensive support during the construction of these vessels which will be classed under BV with the notation Electric Hybrid and Zero Emission (‘ZE’) mode. The notation helps ensure that the systems operate safely and efficiently, and validates benefits in terms of reduced fuel consumption, local air quality and noise reduction when in proximity to centres of population.

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