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Kerala government awards more orders of solar ferry boats to NavAlt


Kerala government awards more orders of solar ferry boats to NavAlt
The 75-passenger ongoing solar-powered transport ferry in Vaikom plying in Kerala's backwaters.

The Kochi-based NavAlt Solar and Electric Boats (NavAlt) has received orders for more solar boats from the Kerala government after completing a successful two-year run in the state of the country's first sun-powered ferry, the company said on Monday. The 75-passenger ongoing solar-powered transport ferry in Vaikom plying in Kerala's backwaters has helped the state government save Rs 40 lakh on diesel costs or the equivalent of 58,000 litres in this period, NavAlt said in a statement.

"NavAlt is recognised as the best solution for water transport by the Kerala government and has received an order from the state for more solar boats of similar and higher capacity," it said. The private sector firm said it has received orders for supplying two solar ferries of 75-passenger capacity each and one that can carry 100 passengers. A company spokesperson said that it has also won a Goa government tender for supplying a similar boat which is currently under construction.

"In states like Goa, Kerala, Telangana, West Bengal and Assam, the water transport framework is huge and it can be broadly utilised. The company is under process to introduce more solar boats in other states," the statement said. Regarding the Kerala ferry, the company said the main cost that the state has incurred over the 2 years of running it is the power charge at an aggregate of Rs 1.31 lakh. "The all-out savings is about Rs. 40,80,000," it said. "In our guide ahead, NavAlt has plans to build fishing boats, hydrogen fuel cell boats, carbon fibre applications and solar and wind maritime yatches," NavAlt founder and CEO Sandith Thandasherry said. NavAlt is a joint venture floated by Indian firm Navgathi Marine Design and Construction along with two French companies Alternatives Energies and EVE Systems.

(With inputs from agencies.)


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