The first ship in Transtejo’s electric fleet, called “Cegonha-Branca”, arrived at the Port of Lisbon and next week the technical inspections will begin and then the training of the crews.
In a statement, Transtejo, responsible for the river connection from Seixal, Montijo, Cacilhas and Trafaria/Porto Brandão, in the Setúbal district, to Lisbon, says that the next three ships should arrive at the end of the year and that “five modern charging stations” at the river terminals in Seixal, Cais do Sodré, Cacilhas and Montijo.
For now, according to the company, the “Cegonha-Branca” will have its first energy charge, “under the supervision of specialized technical teams”, followed by inspections, the legalization process and training.
The loading terminals will allow, explains Transtejo, the fast loading of ships, during passenger pick-up and drop-off operations.
“The entry into operation of these structures is expected during the 2nd half of this year. Until then, during the crew training phase, the loading system installed at the dock in Cacilhas will be used”, reads the statement.
In the note, the company refers to the 43 years of ferries, welcomes the new “icon of the Tagus” and recalls that the new 100% electric fleet comes as a result of an international public tender.
“Due to its characteristics, the new fleet will improve the experience of river travel, achieve gains in energy efficiency, reduce current maintenance costs and eliminate C02 (carbon dioxide) emissions”, stresses Transtejo, highlighting that the new connections along the Tagus will also not cause noise, vibration or odors, helping to improve the river’s ecosystems and biodiversity.
Each ship, symbolically, will be baptized with the name of a native bird of the Tagus estuary.
“With a total investment of around 82.4 million euros, the Transtejo Fleet Renewal Plan contributes to the national commitment to reduce the carbon footprint and combat global warming and to the implementation of strategies to reduce greenhouse gases. greenhouse effect (GHG), through an efficient and quality river public transport system”, is mentioned in the communiqué.
Issues involving the new ships have generated controversy in recent days, after the Court of Auditors (TdC) announced on Thursday that failed the purchase by Transtejoby direct adjustment, of batteries for nine new electric ships and considered that he was deceived by the company when he approved the purchase of catamarans, referring the case to the Public Ministry.
At issue is the purchase of nine batteries, for a value of 15.5 million euros, in an additional contract to another contract previously inspected by the TdC for the acquisition, for 52.4 million euros, of ten (one of them already with battery , for testing) new ships with battery-electric propulsion, to ensure the public passenger transport service between the two banks of the Tagus.
On the same day, the Board of Directors of Transtejo/Soflusa, asked for exonerationwhich was accepted by the Government.
Transtejo is responsible for connecting Seixal, Montijo, Cacilhas and Trafaria/Porto Brandão, in the Setúbal district, to Lisbon, while Soflusa makes the crossing between Barreiro, also in the Setúbal district, and Terreiro do Paço, in Lisbon .
The companies have a common administration.