Cochin Shipyard Starts Building India’s First Hydrogen-Fuelled Catamaran Vessel


India’s government-run shipbuilder, Cochin Shipyard Limited (CSL) has begun fabrication of its pilot Hydrogen Fuel Cell vessel.

This is purportedly India’s first fully indigenous zero-emission fuel cell vessel project.

CSL is partnering with an Indian software integration company, KPTI Technologies and Indian Registry of Shipping (IRS) to carry out the project.

Furthermore, CSL revealed that the Union Ministry of Ports, Shipping and Waterways is partially funding the project.

“This vessel is expected to propel India to a strong position on the global front as among the first movers in this niche and emerging technology,” the company said in a release. The fabrication of the new vessel was kicked-off by Madhu S Nair, CMD, CSL.

A catamaran is a watercraft featuring two parallel hulls of equal size. Catamarans typically have less hull volume, smaller displacement and shallower draft than monohulls of comparable length.

MoU Signed

Earlier in November 2022, a memorandum of understanding (MoU) was inked between the Inland Waterways Authority of India (IWAI) and CSL to build the country’s first hydrogen fuel cell catamaran vessel for operation in Varanasi.

The Hydrogen Fuel Cell catamaran, named I-CAT 24 06 H2 is a zero-emission water taxi designed for short-distance commutes in riverine waters.

Hydrogen Fuel Cell catamaran. (Representative image)

It is a spacious air-conditioned ferry, with a carrying capacity of 100 passengers and large windows for a panoramic view of the surroundings.

Hydrogen Fuel Cell catamaran. (Representative image)

The vessel will be deployed at Varanasi after test and trial runs in Kochi. It would reduce carbon dioxide emissions by 250 tonnes annually.

Based on the success of the project, the technology can be adopted for greening of cargo vessels and small country crafts, enabling significant reduction in pollution levels in the national waterways, said a release from CSL.