UK-based P&O Ferries has contracted Wärtsilä to supply four-stroke diesel engines for its series of 230-m hybrid-electric ‘super ferries’ being built in China for operation on the English Channel
The largest passenger and freight ferries to sail the English Channel, the double-ended ropax vessels will be powered by Wärtsilä 31 engines - recognised by Guinness World Records as being the world’s most efficient four-stroke diesel engine. The engine’s high level of fuel efficiency also reduces exhaust emissions. Propulsion for each ferry will be supplied by four 7.5-MW electrically powered Azipods, part of an extensive hybrid integrated solution supplied by ABB. US-based XALT Energy will provide the battery storage systems for the vessels.
P&O Ferries has stated that the new vessels “will be the most sustainable ships ever to sail the English Channel, setting new standards for reliability and cost efficiency.”
Each super ferry will feature four 16-cylinder Wärtsilä 31 engines. Delivery to the shipyard will commence in Q2 2021. The engines will also be fitted with Wärtsilä Data Communication Units, which utilise AI and are supported by Wärtsilä’s Expert Insight condition monitoring platform. Expert Insight aims to advance predictive maintenance to maximise uptime and lower 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 emissions levels that can deliver more sustainable operations. The Wärtsilä 31 is absolutely the right choice for meeting these requirements,” said Wärtsilä Marine Power sales manager Karls Hinks.
The ferries are expected to be delivered in 2023.
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