Wednesday, December 2, 2020
Maritime Propulsion

October 22, 2020

Wärtsilä to Supply Engines for P&O Ferries' Newbuilds

P&O Ferries’ new series of ‘super ferries’ will be powered by Wärtsilä 31 engines fitted with the latest Wärtsilä Data Communication units. (Image: P&O Ferries)

Finnish tech company Wärtsilä revealed Thursday that it booked an order in Q1 2020 to supply engines for British ferry operator P&O Ferries' two new hybrid electric ferries on order at China's Guangzhou Shipyard International.

P&OF has stated that the new hybrid-electric vessels, to be powered by powered by the Wärtsilä 31 four-stroke diesel engines, “will be the most sustainable ships ever to sail the English Channel, setting new standards for reliability and cost efficiency.”

The double-ended RoPax ferries will operate between England and France. At 230 meters long, they will be the largest passenger and freight ferries ever to sail the route when they enter service in 2023.

Each ship will feature four 16-cylinder Wärtsilä 31 engines. Delivery to the yard will commence in Q2 2021. The engines will also be fitted with state-of-the-art Wärtsilä Data Communication Units, which utilize artificial intelligence and are supported by the company’s Expert Insight condition monitoring platform. Expert Insight takes predictive maintenance to the next level maximising uptime and lowering operating costs.

“We have worked closely with P&O Ferries and their naval architects on the design of these ships, and in their drive for greater efficiency and lower emission levels that can deliver more sustainable operations. The Wärtsilä 31 is absolutely the right choice for meeting these requirements,” says Karls Hinks, Sales Manager, Wärtsilä Marine Power.

Swiss-based ABB announced last month it will provide electric, digital and connected solutions for two new ferries, including four Azipod propulsion units per vessel, each rated at 7.5 megawatts.

The hybrid propulsion solution, using electric power from 8.8MWh batteries and diesel generators, will cut fuel consumption on P&O Ferries’ Dover-Calais route by 40%, ABB said. The batteries will provide full power for harbor maneuvering and stay in port and will prepare the vessels for a zero-emission future once more electric shore charging stations are available.

P&O Ferries' contract with Guangzhou Shipyard International is worth $285 million for the two initial ferries, and it includes options to build two further vessels by 2024.