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A rather serious situation has been unfolding over the last several days in southeastern Norway after a fire was reported on a battery-powered passenger vessel.
The MS Brim is a 2019-built all-electric excursion catamaran offering excursion tours in Norwegian fjords. The vessel features two battery rooms with 790kWh of batteries installed and supplied by Corvus Energy, the leading supplier of lithium power technology and energy storage systems to the maritime industry.
A fire alarm on board the vessel was first reported on Thursday afternoon as the vessel was located in the Oslofjord near Fredrikstad, Norway.
Following the incident, the vessel’s four crew were evacuated and the ship was towed to nearby Vallø. There were no passengers on board at the time of the incident.
Officials report that although the situation and temperatures on board have stabilized, the fear is that the batteries may have been exposed to heat that could have produced explosive and flammable gases in closed rooms and bulkheads on board the vessel, preventing anyone from boarding or even going near the vessel.
A 300-meter safety zone has been established around the vessel and officials report that half of Vallø has been closed to the public over fears of an explosion.
“Corvus Energy immediately established an emergency board to monitor the situation and a local team was present at site within 30 min to support the firebrigade, police and shipowner,” Corvus energy said in a statement. An update from the company said it could be several days before anyone will be able to board the vessel.
“Corvus is continuously supporting all stakeholders on how to handle the incident. Temperatures are reported to be down to normal, but no one is allowed to go onboard the vessel yet. A technical investigation team has been established to support the process of finding the cause of the incident. We expect to be able to go onboard early next week. Corvus Energy aims for full transparency and will continue to support all stakeholders in the process going forward,” the update said.
The MS Brim is an award-winning all-electric sightseeing vessel equipped with a Corvus Dolphin Energy energy storage system (lithium battery). The vessel is owned by Brim Explorer, a local sightseeing tour company in Norway.
“The most important thing now is that everyone involved has been well taken care of, and the next step is to find out what is the reason and how we can get back into operation as soon as possible,” the company said in a Facebook post.
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