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Portugal’s First Electric Ferry Delivered: A Leap Forward in Sustainable Transportation

by Nithya Madhasu
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In a significant step towards a greener and more sustainable future, Portugal has welcomed its first-ever electric ferry, the Salicórnia, marking a milestone in the country’s maritime industry. The vessel, christened at the Navaltagus Shipyard in Seixal, south of Lisbon, represents a pioneering achievement in Portugal’s commitment to environmental responsibility and innovation.

Salicórnia, Portugal’s first electric ferry

The Salicórnia, developed entirely by national companies, has been specifically designed to serve a ferry service that connects São Jacinto and the Fort of Barra, in Ílhavo. This route is renowned for its challenging environmental conditions, including strong tides, shallow waters, and a narrow channel. The ferry’s electric propulsion system, coupled with its advanced design, ensures that it meets the demanding operational requirements of the route while minimizing its environmental impact.

Salicórnia’s zeroemission electric propulsion system

Powered by a battery pack with a capacity of 1,600 kWh, the Salicórnia generates zero emissions during operation, significantly reducing its carbon footprint compared to conventional diesel ferries. This aligns with Portugal’s ambitious environmental goals, which aim to achieve a 55% reduction in greenhouse gas emissions by 2030 and net-zero emissions by 2050.

The delivery of the Salicórnia is a testament to Portugal’s dedication to developing sustainable solutions for its maritime sector. The ferry’s innovative design and electric propulsion system set a new standard for environmentally friendly transportation in the region. This achievement is expected to encourage further investments in electric ferries across the country and pave the way for a cleaner and more sustainable maritime future.

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