AAM Takes Over Hydrogen Ferry New Build
All American Marine, Inc. (AAM) won a contract by SWITCH Maritime (SW/TCH) to complete the aluminum construction and outfitting of a 70-foot 84-passenger zero-emissions, hydrogen-powered, electric drive ferry that will operate in the California Bay Area (referred to as the ‘Water-Go-Round’ project).
Prior to transfer to AAM, the project had begun at Bay Ship & Yacht shipyard in Alameda, Calif. where the aluminum hull and superstructure had been started. Bronson Lamb, AAM Marketing Manager, told MarineLink that a portion of the hull and super structure of the vessel has been completed, and AAM will complete all remaining aluminum fabrication and welding and then commence with outfitting all interior and propulsion aspects of the vessel, including but not limited to: the hydrogen fuel cell system, paint, electrical, control systems and seating.
AAM is currently on pace to deliver the vessel in late-2020, but the timeline could potentially be impacted by current events surrounding the coronavirus outbreak, Lamb said.
Production work at the Bellingham, Wash. shipyard is currently suspended in line with CDC guidelines, but core managerial staff are working on the vessel program and resolving any outstanding regulatory and construction issues, Lamb said, adding the AAM is closely monitoring state and federal government guidances and will resume production work as soon as possible.
The first hydrogen fuel cell vessel in the U.S., the e-ferry is being developed to demonstrate a pathway to commercialization for zero-emission hydrogen fuel cell marine technologies.The e-ferry will exhibit the viability of this marine technology for the commercial and regulatory community.
“Having demonstrated our capabilities by delivering a number of state-of-the-art vessels over the years, AAM was the ideal candidate to complete this vessel. We believe that hydrogen fuel cell technology will prove to be a robust alternative to conventional powertrain technologies,” said Matt Mullett, AAM President & CEO. “AAM is on the leading edge of manufacturing unique vessels with advanced propulsion methods, which is why we are so excited to be a part of this project to complete construction on such a revolutionary vessel.”
The project is funded by private capital from SW/TCH, an impact investment platform building the first fleet of zero-emissions maritime vessels. SW/TCH’s mission-driven platform seeks to work with existing ferry operators around the country to provide capital to accelerate their transition to zero emissions, leveraging significant experience from the build of this e-ferry. This project is also partially funded by a $3 million grant from the California Air Resources Board, administered by the Bay Area Air Quality Management District, that comes from the California Climate Investments initiative, a California statewide program that puts billions of Cap-and-Trade dollars to work to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, strengthen the economy, and improve public health and the environment – particularly in disadvantaged communities.