GRSE goes Green – Lays keel for first ever zero-emission Ferry to ply on the Hooghly

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GRSE goes Green - Lays keel for first ever zero-emission Ferry to ply on the Hooghly
GRSE goes Green - Lays keel for first ever zero-emission Ferry to ply on the Hooghly
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GRSE goes Green – Lays keel for first ever zero-emission Ferry to ply on the Hooghly

Kolkata (January 19, 2023): The keel of the first New Generation Electric Ferry for the Government of West Bengal was laid by Garden Reach Shipbuilders and Engineers (GRSE) Ltd in Kolkata on January 19, 2023. This zero-emission Ferry, designed by GRSE, is being built for the Government of West Bengal and is poised to revolutionise passenger transport across River Hooghly as well as the movement of vessels along National Waterways I. Shri Binod Kumar, Principal Secretary, Department of Transport, Government of West Bengal, graced the occasion as Chief Guest during the keel laying. Shri Rajanvir Singh Kapur, IAS, MD, WBTC, Shri R K Dash, Director (Finance), Cdr Shantanu Bose IN (Retd), Director (Shipbuilding), Shri Sanjay Dattatraya Panse, Independent Director, GRSE, Shri Sanjeeb Mohanty, Independent Director, GRSE, Shri Mihir Kumbhakar, ITS, Chief Vigilance Officer and other senior officials of GRSE were also present during the ceremony that marked a new chapter in the shipyard’s long and glorious history. Such ferries will potentially replace the diesel engine driven ferries that now operate on River Hooghly, bringing about a major transformation towards the reduction of carbon emissions. 

In June 2022, a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) was signed between the Government of West Bengal & GRSE for design & construction of the New Generation Electric Ferry. The 24-metre-long New Generation Electric Ferry designed by GRSE will be powered by a 210 Kilowatt per hour (kWh) liquid cooled Energy Storage Solution. It is ergonomically designed to carry 150 passengers in air-conditioned comfort and with no noise or engine vibrations, the Ferry will offer a smooth ride.

The Ferry will have twin screw propellers for greater maneuverability and a Catamaran Aluminium hull which will allow speeds upto 10 knots. It will have solar panels to augment the power supply. It is being built to comply with the latest classification society rules related to passenger safety.

During his welcome address, Cdr Shantanu Bose, Director (Shipbuilding), GRSE mentioned that The Next Generation Electric Ferry is a R&D effort by GRSE and it will be a technology demonstrator and green initiative for the Inland Waterways for West Bengal, other states, coastal & island territories of India. He also stressed that as we at GRSE, care for the environment, the lifecycle cost of this vessel is 20-30 % lesser compared to diesel powered vessel.

Congratulating GRSE on the occasion, Chief Guest for the ceremony Shri Binod Kumar stated that this is the first electric powered vessel for Government of West Bengal and these vessels are significant in terms of sustainable development. Shri Kumar also emphasised that we are majorly affected by global warming and pollution related to fossil fuels and this new electric ferry will play a major part towards green energy initiative as this will run on rechargeable electricity and solar energy. Highlighting the importance of this vessel in the River Hooghly, he stressed that both the sides of river are densely populated and this vessel will prove to be the cheapest, time saving and a popular mode of transportation.

The last month has been a busy one for GRSE, the only shipyard in the country to have delivered 108 warships to the Indian Navy and Indian Coast Guard. Two more have been exported to the Republic of Seychelles and Mauritius. Over the last few days, GRSE has delivered a Fast Patrol Vessel to the Indian Coast Guard. This ship was commissioned at GRSE on January 12, 2023. The shipyard also flagged-off a passenger-cum-cargo Ocean going ferry – the first of its kind built in the country – for the Cooperative Republic of Guyana. GRSE also laid twin keels for Anti Submarine Warfare Shallow Water Craft (ASW SWC) at its Rajabagan Dockyard. Eight of these warships are being built by GRSE. 

In 2022, GRSE also became the only defence shipyard in the country to be honoured with the Raksha Mantri Award for designing the most silent ship of its class – an ASW SWC that has now been launched and is being fitted out. GRSE is also building three Advanced Stealth Guided Missile Frigates for the Indian Navy under the latter’s project 17A. Two of these have already been launched. Four Survey Vessels (Large) are also under construction at the shipyard which is also working on an export order for six patrol boats for the Government of Bangladesh. 

About GRSE:

The journey of Garden Reach Shipbuilders & Engineers Ltd., a premier Warship building Company in India, under the administrative control of Ministry of Defence, a PCMM Level-2 Certified Company, dates back to 1884 when it started its journey as a small workshop to repair vessels of River Steam Navigation Company. The Company was taken over by the Government of India in 1960. GRSE has the distinction of becoming the first shipyard of independent India to build a warship for Indian Navy, the Seaward Defence Boat (SDB) INS Ajay way back in 1961. GRSE also built the first ever Indian Export Warship “CGS Barracuda”. The shipyard was conferred the status of a Miniratna Category I Company in 2006. Over last 62 years, GRSE has built 789 platforms including 108 warships for Indian Navy, Indian Coast Guard, and Government of Mauritius & Seychelles Coast Guard – highest warships built & delivered by any Indian shipyard till date. From Frigates, Corvettes, Fleet Tankers, Landing Ship Tank, Landing Craft Utility to Survey Vessels, Offshore Patrol Vessels and Fast Attack Craft – the repertoire is rich and varied. In addition to ship building, GRSE is also engaged in marine engine assembly and testing at its’ Diesel Engine Plant in Ranchi. The engineering division manufactures deck machinery items, pre-fabricated portable steel bridges and marine pumps. GRSE has more than 60% market share in India for portable steel bridges. Noteworthy accolades include Raksha Mantri Award 2022 in Designing the most silent ship for Indian Navy for ASW operation, Defence Minister’s Award for Excellence for In-house Design Effort for Offshore Patrol Vessel for Government of Mauritius, CGS Barracuda in 2015 and ‘Best Performing Defence Shipyard of India’ for Four Years in a row. GRSE embraced infrastructure modernization over the past decade resulting in the capacity for concurrent construction of 20 ships at a time. Team of highly skilled design engineers and state of art VR Lab & latest software cater to the in-house design capabilities. With proven credentials, the shipyard is on a growth path, pursuing it’s vision to be globally acknowledged as the ‘Best Shipyard in India’ and reaffirming its motto “In Pursuit of Excellence and Quality in Shipbuilding”.

About Post Author

Editor Desk

Antara Tripathy M.Sc., B.Ed. by qualification and bring 15 years of media reporting experience.. Coverred many illustarted events like, G20, ICC,MCCI,British High Commission, Bangladesh etc. She took over from the founder Editor of IBG NEWS Suman Munshi (15/Mar/2012- 09/Aug/2018 and October 2020 to 13 June 2023).
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