Buquebús, the only company offering passenger services linking Montevideo and Buenos Aires daily across the River Plate in addition to the route between Colonia and the Argentine capital, announced Friday that its newest unit already under construction and slated to be delivered in 2025 would be named after Uruguayan actress China Zorrilla.
Concepción Matilde Zorrilla de San Martín Muñoz del Campo (1922-2014) - or just China - had an acting career both in Uruguay and Argentina. Her passing away was felt on both shores alike. She was also a director, pianist, producer, and composer.
Australian shipbuilders Incat Tasmania plan to deliver the world's largest electric catamaran in 2025. The Incat 096 construction will be 100% electric and have a battery capacity of over 40 MWh, almost four times more than any battery installation ever built and installed anywhere in the world for shipping.
The batteries power a series of electric motors that drive the water jet propulsion system. The electrical system integration is from Wärtsilä, and ESS from Corvus Energy. The onshore recharging systems will have 50% more capacity than any other current installation.
The new vessel will have a capacity for 2,100 passengers, 225 cars, and a 2,000-square-meter duty-free store on a single deck.
Destined for the Colonia del Sacramento-Puerto Madero high-speed line, the contract places Incat at the forefront of this type of vessel, as it is a 130 m long and 32 m wide ship.
“Originally, this 130-meter ferry was to be powered by Liquefied Natural Gas, but after some discussions with the client, we were asked to replace the LNG plant with a zero-emission, battery-electric solution,” the company explained in a press release.
Incat Group founder and chairman Robert Clifford said earlier this year that “the customer wants this to happen, Incat wants this to happen, and whilst there are matters to be finalized, I am extremely confident that Incat can deliver this ground-breaking ship.”
“Obviously, there will always be the need for power supply in the ports that the ship will be visiting, but we understand that this is progressing positively. The batteries and electric motors have already been confirmed by our suppliers, to ensure that they will be able to deliver the necessary technology in the time frame we need it,” he went on.
The City of Montevideo also launched last year on the occasion of what would have been the actress' 100th birthday a tourist circuit honoring her through 16 geolocated totems throughout the Uruguayan capital in theaters, monuments, and other sites connected to China Zorrilla's life.
Uruguayan Ambassador to Buenos Aires Carlos Enciso said at the time that China unites the two shores, the two countries. Hence, Buquebús's choice of names was more than adequate.
China received a scholarship from the British government that allowed her to see post-war London first-hand. Then she returned to Montevideo. In 1970 she moved to Buenos Aires and stayed there for 40 years.
Buquebús' current flagship is named Francisco, after the Buenos Aires-born Pope.