Feature, Freight News, Sea

P&O signs up for next generation of Channel ferries

[ September 24, 2019   //   ]

P&O Ferries has signed a €260 million contract with Guangzhou Shipyard International for two 230-metre ferries – the largest ever to sail between Dover and Calais – to go into operation by 2023, with options to build two further vessels by 2024.

They will cut fuel use by 40% through a combination of fuel and battery  with all surplus energy generated by the engines stored in the battery. This will enable the engines to be run at the optimum level, with the battery charging when excess energy is being created, and discharging when the ship requires peaks of power.

A heat recovery system will save fuel and reduce the vessel’s carbon footprint by using a steam system to provide heating for heaters. The ships are designed with the capacity to be carbon neutral in the future on the twin assumptions that there are more electric shore charging stations in ports and batteries.

During off-peak sailings, up to two thirds of the ship can be closed and the power management system will use software to turn off the lighting and ventilation in empty areas as well as optimizing the utilization of engines, batteries and energy recovered from waste heat.

The hull will be far broader than that of the ferries they replace on the Channel, making it feasible to have two azimuth thrusters at each end of the ship which will improve the vessel’s manoeuvrability, help drive it through the water and eliminate the need to turn around in port.

P&O Ferries chief executive, Janette Bell, said: “These will be the most sustainable ships ever to sail on the English Channel, providing the best ever customer experience and setting new standards for reliability and cost efficiency.”

Chairman, Robert Woods,  added: “This major investment in a new generation of super-ferries is a powerful testament to the commitment of DP World, our owner, to enable trade flows between Britain and Europe by providing first class shipping capacity for many years to come.”