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Aquaculture vessel built by Nichols will be powered by Cat hybrid battery propulsion

Written by

Nick Blenkey

The aquaculture vessel was designed by Kirk Mullen at Oceantech Ltd., a naval architecture firm based on the South Island, New Zealand.

Caterpillar Marine announces that it has entered into an agreement with California-based Pacific6 Enterprises to pilot a parallel battery hybrid propulsion system for a one-of-a-kind aquaculture vessel.

Designed by Kirk Mullen at Oceantech Ltd., a naval architecture firm based in the South Island, New Zealand, the aquaculture vessel will be built at Nichols Brothers Boat Builders in Freeland, Washington. Caterpillar Marine dealer NC Power Systems (Seattle, Wash.) will sell and oversee the installation and commissioning of the new hybrid equipment.

Powered by a Cat C18 engine and hybrid battery solution, the next-generation hybrid boat will use proven electrical components and power electronics from Caterpillar’s construction and mining product lines.

Pacific Mariculture, a subsidiary of venture capital group Pacific6 Enterprises, is currently at the forefront of developing the first-ever offshore aquaculture farm in the United States, which will be located off the coast of Southern California. True to its core philosophy of ensuring the sustainability of its investment and development projects, Pacific6 Enterprises was determined to use hybrid battery propulsion and ancillary solution to minimize environmental impact.

“Aquaculture is central to our efforts to sustainably provide seafood for the future. Finding new ways to reduce our carbon footprint is central to these efforts,” said John Molina, founding partner of Pacific6 Enterprises. “We are thrilled that our work, alongside Caterpillar, is creating a vessel with over 1 MWh of stored energy; making it one of the most durable aquaculture vessels in the world.

The vessel will be equipped with 961kWh battery capacity provided by Caterpillar Marine to enable zero exhaust emissions while operating on battery power alone in agricultural operations as well as departing and entering port. .

Caterpillar Marine will also provide full hybrid propulsion system integration, including motor/generator unit (MGU), inverter and system supervisory controls, reducing the number of installed diesel engines from two to one.

“We are proud to have been selected by Pacific6 Enterprises to work together on this exciting project,” said Derrick York, general manager of Caterpillar Marine. We believe this aquaculture vessel is a great example of our capabilities to work with our customers to provide sustainable solutions and demonstrate our next generation of integrated hybrid architecture.

As part of the agreement, Caterpillar Marine and Pacific6 Enterprises will work to optimize the operation of the hybrid system to minimize operating costs and environmental footprint. “We look forward to this growing relationship with Caterpillar as we work together to ensure sustainable agricultural solutions for the future,” commented Molina.

Categories: News, Technology
Key words: aquaculture vessel, Cat C18, Caterpillar Marine, hybrid propulsion, Nichols Brothers Boat Builders, Oceantech, Pacific6 Enterprises, shipbuilder, shipbuilding, shipyard

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