The largest emission-free ferries in the world have been officially welcomed into service after guests boarded ForSea’s (formerly HH Ferries Group) Tycho Brahe in Helsingborg, Sweden and Helsingør, Denmark on 9 November for an inauguration ceremony marking completion of an all-electric conversion.
“We are delighted that the entire system is in place to support the emissions-free operations we envisaged from the outset,” said ForSea chief executive Johan Röstin. “This is a truly groundbreaking project and the work we have done with ABB will offer invaluable lessons for those following our lead. In shipping, innovation takes time and patience, and we always kept sight of the environmental benefits at stake.”
“This project signals a profound shift for the maritime industry, and shows a path towards zero-emission operations, aligned with IMO’s goals for decarbonisation,” said ABB Marine & Ports head of passenger, dry cargo and ice segment, Marcus Högblom. “We congratulate ForSea on the inauguration of these vessels, and we are proud to have worked closely with them to deliver this pioneering solution.”
Tycho Brahe and Aurora have been converted from conventional diesel engine operations to battery power at Öresund Dry Docks, as part of ForSea’s strategy to reduce its environmental footprint along the 4-km route between Sweden and Denmark. The vessels operate on a high-intensity ferry route that transfers over 7.4M passengers and 1.9M vehicles between urban port terminals in Denmark and Sweden.
The conversion of these 100-m ferries, both built in 1991, required installation of a 4,160-kWh battery on each vessel, as well as battery racks, energy storage control systems and ABB’s Onboard DC Grid power distribution technology.
Additionally, ABB supplied automated shore-side charging stations using an industrial robot to optimise the connection time and maximise the charging period, leveraging 3D laser scanning and wireless communication between ship and shore.
“This is a landmark project, and we are convinced it will come to be seen as a critical step in shipping’s environmental revolution, as well as a milestone in rolling out ABB’s ‘Electric, Digital, Connected’ strategy for shipping,” said Mr Högblom.
INEA, the European Union’s executive agency for innovation and network, has supported the project.