Tunis/Tunisia — The first ride of the tourist shuttle operating an electro-solar boat SOLARIS with non-polluting energy offering tours and rides on the northern Lake of Tunis according in a defined circuit, took place on Monday evening.
The boat was built as part of the Solar Fuelled Electric Mobility (SoFEM) project implemented by the National Agency for Energy Conservation (ANME), in collaboration with the Norwegian laboratory SINTEF ENERGY and Al-Buhaira Invest. The project was closed on Monday evening at a ceremony organised by the three partner organisations.
ANME Director General Fathi Hanchi underlined on the occasion, that SOLARIS had been built in Tunisia by a qualified Tunisian manpower from the Industrial and Naval Construction Company (SCIN).
The boat is 12 metres long and 5 metres wide, and is able to accommodate up to 30 passengers in addition to the two crew members. It will be operated on Lake Tunis for pleasure cruises, following the example of European cities with lakes.Project coordinator and representative of SINTEF Moez Jemaa said that the project had been funded by a donation of US$1 million from the United Nations and co-financed by Al-Buhaira (the company operating the boat) to the value of around TND 2 million, while the boat’s building costs stood at TND 1.5 million. Jemaa also pointed out that the boat includes economic and environmental features. Its operation is aimed at promoting electric sea mobility based on photovoltaic solar energy in the MENA region and promoting sustainable mobility.Taking the floor, Managing Director of the Société du Lac des Activités de Loisirs, a subsidiary of Al Buhaira Invest, Hassen Cherif explained that the SOLARIS boat has been designed to offer rides on the Tunis lake, with an average of 5 to 6 rides per day. Reservations for the SOLARIS can be made on the website: