Friday 19 April 2024
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Ocean Kinetics - The Engineering Experts

Transport / Work gets underway on electric boat which will be used in Papa Stour trial

A visualisation of what the boat could look like. Image: Coastal Workboats

WORK has now begun to build an electric boat which is expected to be trialled on the Papa Stour ferry route next year.

It will be the UK’s first all-electric vehicle and passenger ferry, and the project is supported by more than £6 million of government funding.

The vessel is being built by Coastal Workboats in Stornoway.

The project, worth £9 million total, raised some eyebrows in Shetland when UK Government funding was announced in 2023.

Coastal Workboats later confirmed the electric boat would effectively take over the Papa Stour ferry route for around four weeks, and that Shetland Islands Council – the usual ferry operator – was engaged in discussions regarding the project.

The company said it offered a chance to demonstrate the viability of electric boat technology. The project also involves local company BK Marine.

It said the trial between West Burrafirth on Shetland’s mainland and Papa Stour will run twice daily, five days a week, with a one-way journey time of 45 minutes.

Coastal Workboats has signed a ten year lease of Stornoway Port Authority’s marine engineering workshop on the Isle of Lewis, where the vessel will be built.

It said it has since rolled out a recruitment drive to grow its local team on the ground and has carried out a “vast procurement undertaking” to kit out workshops.

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