ABB wins contract for hybrid English Channel ferries


The two new diesel-electric ferries will cut fuel consumption on P&O Ferries’ Dover-Calais route by 40 percent from 2023. (credit: ABB)The two new diesel-electric ferries will cut fuel consumption on P&O Ferries’ Dover-Calais route by 40 percent from 2023. (credit: ABB)



ABB has won a contract with Guangzhou Shipyard International Ltd to supply a full package of integrated solutions, including Azipod® propulsion and energy storage, for P&O Ferries’ two new battery-hybrid vessels.

The hybrid propulsion solution, using electric power from 8.8MWh batteries and diesel generators, will cut fuel consumption on P&O Ferries’ Dover-Calais route by 40 percent. The batteries will provide full power for harbour manoeuvring and stay in port.

Equipped with four Azipod® propulsion units per vessel, each rated at 7.5 megawatt, the 230-meter-long vessels will be the largest passenger and freight ferries to operate on the Channel Crossing route when they enter service in 2023.  P&O Ferries cited the benefits of bridge-to-propeller integration in the decision to select the hybrid solution for the new ferries.

In addition to Azipod® propulsion and energy storage, the new ships will feature a comprehensive scope of ABB solutions to cover power and propulsion, automation and power energy management. ABB’s Power and Energy Management System (PEMS™) is closely integrated with the electrical system and ensures optimal use of the vessel’s total power resources by improving the information flow across shipboard systems.

The vessels’ engines will be equipped with ABB Turbo’s Power2 two-stage turbocharging system that will further improve power efficiency and help achieve up to five percent in fuel savings. In addition, the Power2 system will help reduce  nitrogen oxide emissions by up to 60 percent.

“The P&O ferries under construction at the Guangzhou Shipyard International are truly iconic. We are delighted to strengthen our strategic cooperation with the technology leader ABB and to work together on this leading-edge project, considering ABB’s proven supplier status in the global ferry market,” said Mr. Zhongqian Chen, Chairman of Guangzhou Shipyard International.

“We are proud to have ABB technology at the heart of P&O Ferries’ sustainability program, as it transitions to the zero-emission future envisaged for shipping,” said Juha Koskela, Division President, ABB Marine & Ports.

Built to the double-ended design where the vessels will feature a pair of Azipod® units and a bridge at each end, there will be no need to turn ships in port. The captain and senior officers will simply walk to the opposite bridge, saving seven minutes on each outbound and return journey and one ton of fuel – a sixth of what is used on the 21-mile crossing.

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