ABB to power P&O Ferries’ two new hybrid vessels

ABB will be supplying electric, digital and connected solutions for P&O Ferries’ two new hybrid-power vessels that are being built at the Guangzhou shipyard in China.

ABB said that the hybrid propulsion solution, which uses electric power from 8.8MWh batteries and diesel generators, will cut fuel consumption on P&O Ferries’ Dover-Calais route by 40%. The batteries will provide full power for the ships’ harbour manoeuvring and ‘will prepare the vessels for a zero-emission future once more electric shore charging stations are available’.

Equipped with four Azipod propulsion units per vessel, each rated at 7.5 megawatt, the 230-metre-long vessels will be the largest passenger and freight ferries ever to sail the Dover-Calais route when they enter service in 2023.

In addition to Azipod propulsion and energy storage, the new ships will also 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 ships’ ‘double-ended’ design – with a pair of Azipod units and a bridge at each end – means there will be no need to turn ships in port.

‘The captain and senior officers will simply walk to the opposite bridge,’ said ABB, ‘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.’

The vessels will also be equipped with ABB Ability Marine Pilot Control and 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 up to 60% of nitrogen oxide emissions.

Ian Taylor

Ian Taylor