ABB to power Polish hybrid-electric ferries

Technology company ABB has secured an order from the Polish shipbuilder Remontowa Shiprepair Yard to supply integrated power, automation and propulsion solutions to three large passenger and car ferries.

Image by Remontowa Group

As disclosed, the order is related to three 195-metre-long ferries to be delivered to the Polish ferry company Polskie Promy one apiece in 2025, 2026 and 2027. 

According to ABB, the order was booked in the first quarter of 2022. Financial details were not disclosed but the company characterized the contract as a “large order”.

Under the contract, ABB will equip each ferry with two 7.5-megawatt Azipod electric propulsion units that will help achieve a high degree of manoeuvrability and efficiency in harbour operations.

Azipod technology is said to be able to cut fuel consumption by up to 20% compared to traditional propulsion and the research indicates that the propulsion offers fuel and emissions savings for ferries which could amount to nearly $1.7 million and 10,000 tons of CO2 emissions per ship per year.

By integrating multi-fuel engines with battery power, ABB’s Power and Energy Management System (PEMS) balances the use of the different energy sources onboard, enabling further gains in operational efficiency and reducing emissions as a result, the technology firm states.

The three ferries will also utilise ABB’s shipside shore connection to access plug-in shore power, enabling further emission reductions, as well as benefit from remote equipment monitoring and diagnostics for enhanced passenger and ship safety. 

Once delivered, the vessels will operate in the Baltic Sea which is said to have some of the densest maritime traffic in the world. The Baltic Sea has been designated as an Emission Control Area by the International Maritime Organisation (IMO).

“Increased electrification and energy efficiency will play an important role in helping decarbonise maritime transport. As the foundation for ship electrification, electrical propulsion allows the full integration of power systems and equipment on board, offering significant gains in safety, efficiency and sustainability for the new ferries”, ABB said.

“With ABB, we have full confidence that all systems will be seamlessly integrated for maximum operational efficiency and sustainability”, commented Bartosz Znyk, project director at Remontowa Shiprepair Yard. “In addition, the ease of installing Azipod units significantly increases build efficiency and flexibility in project scheduling, supporting our shipbuilding process.”

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