The UP Diliman (UPD) and the Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA) signed a memorandum of agreement for the development, prototyping, and pilot test deployment of an eco-friendly ferry system along the Pasig River Ferry System (PRFS).

(From left), Tria, San Juan, Agpaoa, and Solidum. Photo by Jefferson Villacruz, UPDIO

Funded by the Department of Science and Technology, the project Development, Prototyping, and Pilot Deployment of Electric Passenger Ferry for Inland Waterways (E-Boat Project) involves the creation of a catamaran-type electrically propelled ferry boat that can carry 40 passengers.

This will be powered by two 50-kilowatt electric motors drawing from a 160-kilowatt hour battery. The project also provides for the installation of several charging stations along the PRFS. The E-Boat Project will run from 2023 to 2025.

The e-boat is expected to ferry passengers throughout the length of the roughly 20-kilometer long PRFS, which spans four major Metro Manila cities: Pasig, Manila, Makati, and Mandaluyong.

The Electrical and Electronics Engineering Institute (EEEI) of the UPD College of Engineering, in partnership with the MMDA, manages the E-Boat Project.

(Right) A small-scale model of the e-boat. Photo by Jefferson Villacruz, UPDIO

Signing the MOA were UPD Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs Jerwin F. Agpaoa, Department of Science and Technology Secretary Renato Solidium Jr., MMDA Deputy Chair Frisco San Juan Jr., and EEEI Director Lew Andrew Tria.

“If you look at EVIDA [RA 11697 or the Electric Vehicle Industry Development Act], it’s more of towards road transportation. So, with these efforts of us going into the electrification of marine transportation, hopefully we can include this sector in the development of the [marine transportation] industry,” Tria said.

Meanwhile, San Juan said the project is a step towards making the PRFS a sustainable transport system.

“Aking pinasasalamatan ang UPD, DOST at iba pang partner agencies para sa proyektong ito dahil pangarap ko na maging world class, clean, at environment-friendly ang Pasig River Ferry,” he said.

The MOA was signed on March 20 at the UPD Atencio-Libunao Hall during a stakeholder meeting with the theme Electrification of Water Transport in the Philippines, which featured in the afternoon local and foreign technical presentations on the state of and projects on electric maritime technologies.