Ferry fire in Norway

A hybrid ferry suffered fire in a battery compartment last night. The fire was extinguished using the fix fifi system, but this morning at least one of the batteries exploded:


This is the first time a hybrid ferry in Norway has suffered a fire. Since there will be at least 70 such ferries in traffic in Norwegian waters by the end of next year there is great interest in finding out the cause of the fire.
Experts from the battery supplier, the yard that did the conversion and NMA has been called in to assist and advise the firefighters and owners on the danger of further explosions and eventually the risk of future incidents of this type.

Latest as reported in tu.no:


This is also reported in gcaptain newsletter today:

Note: This ferry was built as a diesel only ferry in 2006 and converted to hybrid earlier this year only.

This will have consequences for both existing and future ferries and other vessels with battery banks on board. How much depends very much on the result of the investigation now under way on board the MF Ytterøyningen.
Whether it will slow down the development of an all 0-emission ferry fleet in Norway is left to be seen.

PS> Corvus is a Canadian company, but its main production and development facilities are in Norway:

Been there, seen that, unfortunately: http://www.professionalmariner.com/December-January-2013/Battery-related-fire-damages-famed-hybrid-tug-puts-it-out-of-service/
Foss wound up reconfiguring to isolate batteries: https://www.maritime-executive.com/article/hybrid-design-reworked-after-tug-fire

It would appear that Li batteries present fire risk whether in a dive camera, vape device, Tesla car, or hybrid boat.

2 Likes

Let’s hope this latest incident will cause some improvement in design and safety.
With 70 some odd battery powered or hybrid ferries due to be in service just in Norway by 2021 it should get everybody’s attention.
It also requires funds to do the necessary research and development to find solutions.

Rest assured that that rules and regulations will be developed and implemented as soon as cause has been ascertained and solutions has been found to mitigate.