MARINELINK and Austal's new VOLTA electric ferry

The challenge of decarbonisation for the marine industry has been clearly stated by the IMO: to reduce total annual GHG emissions from international shipping by at least 50% by 2050 compared to 2008. In addition, passenger expectations for a journey that is not only fast and comfortable but also environmentally sustainable continue to grow.

Austal's Design and Technology Development teams have been working on a variety of different future powering solutions for fast ferries. The recently launched VOLTA  is an exciting potential solution for passenger ferry operators which delivers a complete, customisable, zero-emission, all-electric solution to ferry operators.

Austal's VOLTA concept features a range of advanced electric propulsion technologies

What role does MARINELINK have in an electric fleet?

The core MARINELINK functionality present on our existing vessels remains.

MARINELINK-Prime or MARINELINK-Essential provide comprehensive monitoring and control of all major ship systems from the bridge via an easy to use interface, and MARINELINK-Connect can relay ship gathered and other relevant data to shore.

The voyage optimisation functionality of MARINELINK-Smart is where we expect most variation from existing vessels. Currently MARINELINK-Smart provides crew advice on optimisation of speed, fuel and motions control to achieve minimal fuel consumption, on-time arrival and increased passenger comfort. Those goals remain the same. However in addition MARINELINK-Smart can provide advice to the crew and the fleet technical team on how best to manage the total cost of ownership (TCO) of all the electric ferries in a fleet.

MARINELINK-Smart can be used to forecast energy consumption on-board so ferry operators can optimise Total Cost of Ownership across the fleet

Batteries are expensive assets with a useful lifespan which is influenced by how they are operated as well as other factors such as environmental conditions. MARINELINK-Smart can advise Fleet Managers on daily operational decisions across the fleet to ensure that TCO is optimised. For example, deciding which ships to rotate to higher frequency routes, and for how long.

If you would like more details on either VOLTA or MARINELINK please contact