ABB is to supply electric, digital and connected solutions for P&O Ferries’ two new Dover/Calais ropaxes.
These include Azipod propulsion and energy storage, cutting fuel consumption by one tonne per return trip across the English Channel.
ABB won the contract from Guangzhou Shipyard International (GSI) to supply a full scope of integrated solutions for the new vessels.
The hybrid propulsion solution, using electric power from 8.8 MW/h batteries and diesel generators, will cut fuel consumption on P&O Ferries’ Dover-Calais route by 40%, the company claimed.
Batteries will provide full power for harbour manoeuvring and while in port and will prepare the vessels for a zero-emission future once more electric shore charging stations become available.
Equipped with four Azipod propulsion units per vessel, each rated at 7.5 MW, the 230 m long vessels will be the largest passenger and freight ferries yet to sail the route when they enter service in 2023.
The benefits of bridge-to-propeller integration proved decisive in selecting the hybrid solution for the new ferries, P&O Ferries said.
In addition to Azipods and energy storage, the new ships will feature other ABB solutions, covering power and propulsion, automation and power energy management. ABB’s Power and Energy Management System (PEMS) will be closely integrated with the electrical system and ensure optimal use of the vessel’s total power resources by improving the information flow across shipboard systems.
“The P&O ferries under construction at the Guangzhou Shipyard International are truly iconic. We are delighted to strengthen our strategic co-operation 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 Zhongqian Chen, GSI Chairman.
“We are proud to have ABB technology at the heart of P&O Ferries’ sustainability programme, as it transitions to the zero-emission future envisaged for shipping,” said Juha Koskela, Division President, ABB Marine & Ports.
Built to a double-ended design by which the vessels will feature a pair of Azipod units and a bridge fore and aft, there ferries will not need to turn in port. The Master and senior officers will simply walk to the opposite bridge, saving seven minutes on each outbound and return journey and one tonne of fuel – a sixth of what is normally used on the 21-mile crossing.
They will also be equipped with ABB Ability Marine Pilot Control, the intelligent manoeuvring and control system that enables safer, more efficient operations by automating some navigational tasks to allow bridge officers to focus on optimising overall ship control and positioning.
Their engines will be equipped with ABB’s Power2 two-stage turbocharging system that will further improve power efficiency and help achieve up to 5% in fuel savings. In addition, the Power2 system will help reduce NOx emissions by up to 60%.