P&O Ferries’ newly commissioned ‘Fusion’ class double ended ropax ‘P&O Pioneer’ recently berthed at DP World’s Limassol port, while en voyage from Guangzhou, China to Dover, UK.
‘P&O Pioneer arrived in Cyprus on 22nd March for bunkers. She is expected to become fully operational on the English Channel route to Calais in May of this year.
The vessel’s delivery voyage was aided by DP World’s global network of terminals allowing her use one of its own terminals where the ropax will be fully serviced by various specialist teams from within DP World’s group of companies.
Its integrated services will provide berthing, bunkering, and marine services, while the vessel remains at Limassol. Unifeeder and P&O Maritime Cyprus will be responsible for bunkering and marine operations, while DP World Limassol terminal operators will be in charge of berthing the vessel.
‘P&O Pioneer’ is the world’s largest double-ended hybrid ferry and is fitted with two bridges, one fore and the other aft, negating the necessity to turn around in ports, thus saving fuel on every round trip.
Forecasts estimate that the ropax will deliver a 40% reduction in carbon emissions on the Dover/Calais route from her first day in service, making it the most sustainable ferry to sail between Britain and the Continent.
Peter Hebblethwaite, CEO of P&O Ferries, said: “The delivery of ‘P&O Pioneer’ is an important step for P&O Ferries, and one that will bring advanced sustainable technology to the Dover/Calais crossing.
“We are excited to offer our passengers and freight customers the chance to experience this state-of-the-art new ferry on our busiest route, which is also one of the UK’s most important connections with the continent of Europe.
“Last summer we carried more than one million passengers on this route and are looking forward to an exciting summer ahead with the first of our two new ships,” he said.
Nawaf Abdulla, CEO of DP World Limassol, added: “I am delighted to be inaugurating this state-of-the-art hybrid ferry at DP World Limassol terminal, in the presence of key government officials and stakeholders of the maritime sector.
“The fact that leading companies such as Unifeeder and P&O Ferries, which are both part of the DP World Group, chose to register their vessels in Cyprus is a testament to the country’s favourable tonnage tax system (TTS) and the government’s efforts to make the Cyprus flag more competitive.
“Our global range of products and solutions, from ports and technology to marine services and logistics, enables us to create end-to-end, sustainable supply chain solutions that can reshape the way the world trades,” he said.
The two ‘Fusion’ class vessels allow P&O Ferries to cut fuel use on each crossing, as they are also propelled by a combination of fuel and battery power. Reductions in fuel usage and emissions are delivered by the hybrid system by allowing ropaxes to operate from their energy storage system while manoeuvring or in port and they are also designed to have the capacity to become fully carbon neutral in the future.
Their modular design allows for modifications to embrace developing technology and as more charging stations are opened at ports, current shipboard generators can be removed and replaced with batteries.
‘P&O Pioneer’ is the first of two identical purpose-built sisterships ordered for the Dover/Calais route, both of which have been registered in Cyprus.
The second ship, ‘P&O Liberte’, is expected to join in service towards the end of this year.
British ferry operator P&O Ferries is owned by logistics provider DP World Group. It operates ferries from the UK to Ireland, as well as to Continental Europe (France and Netherlands).
In 2019, P&O Ferries changed the registration of its UK fleet operating out of Dover to Limassol (Cyprus).