China is on a cleantech tear, even at a municipal level. Recognizing that the waste in its waterways was detrimental to its image and business, the historic City of Suzhou in eastern China has deployed a fleet of workboats powered by electric outboard motors as part of a program to clean up its canals and waterways.
The ancient city of Suzhou, located in Jiangsu Province near Shanghai, is home to more than 10 million people. Often called the “Venice of the East” the 2,500 year old city is noted for its many canals, rivers, lakes, ancient stone bridges, pagodas and gardens. Suzhou Creek, which flows through the city to Shanghai, was at one time said to be the most contaminated waterway in China, filled with sewage and garbage. However, over the past decade, the river has undergone a major transformation and is an acclaimed environmental success story.
As part of the clean-up program, the Suzhou River Management Administration commissioned the construction of 177 vessels designed specifically to remove floating debris from the water. The administration specified electric-powered boats for the project because of their environmentally friendly footprint, and after an evaluation the builder selected Torqeedo as the supplier of electric motors for the boats.
Torqeedo has now completed outfitting the entire fleet, which includes 18 nine-meter steel catamarans with twin Cruise 4.0 outboards, 22 seven-meter steel catamarans with twin Cruise 2.0 outboards and 137 five/six-meter wooden boats with Cruise 2.0 outboards. The boats were designed and built by China Ship Scientific Research Center. They are owned by the Suzhou River Management Administration and operated by private contractors. The vessels use specially designed equipment to scoop up and capture floating items in the water.
The CEO of Torqueedo, Christoph Ballin, said that China is taking environmental cleanup seriously and is at the forefront of adopting electric propulsion to reduce air and water pollution.
Source: Torqueedo, Maritime Executive