Hidrovias do Brasil Orders Electric Pushboats

South American logistics operator Hidrovias do Brasil S.A. has ordered a fleet of diesel/battery electric pushboats from Belov Engenharia Shipyard, in Salvador, Brazil. Construction has commenced, and the first vessel is scheduled for delivery in 2022.

Designed by Robert Allan Ltd. of Vancouver, B.C., Canada, the innovative vessels are expected to be the world’s first battery electric shallow draft pushboats when they begin operating to provide terminal assistance in the Amazon River system.

The new vessels are of the RApide 2000-E design, fitted with a DC grid diesel-battery electric propulsion system, two diesel generators, two L-Drives and a large battery bank (600 kWh initial installation, with capability to scale up to 1800 kWh). The pushboat is equipped with two L-Drive units, each with an input power of 350 kW. The propulsion system is diesel-electric to improve efficiency when operating in lower power modes. The vessel is certified as an inland navigating vessel by DNV.

The particulars of the RApide 2000-E are as follows:

Length overall: 20.4 m
Beam, molded: 10 m
Depth, molded: 3.2 m
Minimum operating draft: 2.2 m
Normal operating draft: 2.5 m

(Image: Robert Allan Ltd.)