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Monday, April 12, 2021 

ABB has secured a contract with Spanish shipbuilder Astilleros Gondn to supply all-electric power solution for fast 40m urban passenger ferries transporting up to 540 passengers each across Lisbons Tagus river.

The 10 ferries will be operated by the public ferry company Transtejo, and will replace the existing fleet serving this route when they enter service between 2022 and 2024. In addition to energy storage, ABB will deliver a fully integrated electric power solution and an integrated marine and propulsion automation system. The fleet renewal project represents a significant commitment by Lisbon metropolitan planners to accelerate the introduction of emissions-free public transport solutions.

The plans are for increased electrification of transportation, including inland waterway transport, to play a key role in helping Portugal achieve carbon neutrality by 2050. According to the national 2050 Carbon Neutrality Roadmap, the transport sector aims to achieve 98% reduction in greenhouse gas emissions compared to 2005, by strengthening the role of the public transport system and replacing current fossil fuel means of transportation with a mainly electric fleet.

ABB estimates that replacing the 10 ferries operating on the Tagus river from diesel power to all-electric integrated power solution will cut about 6,500t/y in CO2 emissions, equivalent to the annual CO2 emissions generated by around 1,400 passenger cars

Antonio Pacheco, Director of GRP Division, Astilleros Gondán, said: “Cutting greenhouse gas emissions are top priorities in urban planning. Today, the technologies chosen for fast ferries operating so close to the heart of the city must be clean and green, as well as proven in terms of safety and reliability. ABB has been selected both on the grounds of energy efficiency and its extensive experience in delivering all-electric and hybrid propulsion solutions to the ferry market.”

“Operators serving inland waters have been among the pioneers of zero-emission propulsion, and we are truly honored that ABB’s technology will support the sustainability goals of one of Europe’s great capitals. This project is another important industry milestone for zero-emission propulsion, showing that proven technology is available today to serve future needs on sustainable fast passenger ferry transport,” said Juha Koskela, Division President, ABB Marine & Ports.

The new ferries will be powered by battery packs, each with a capacity of 1,860kWh. ABB’s initial contract covers the fully integrated electric power solution and an integrated marine and propulsion automation system for all 10 ferries and the battery pack for the debut vessel of the series. ABB’s Onboard DC Grid power distribution system will ensure that the battery output is delivered optimally, as well as enable safe integration and reliable operation of other propulsion system components. The overall power setup will be controlled by ABB's Power and Energy Management System (PEMS), which will increase fault tolerance and provide reliability while ensuring maximum battery life.

The ferries will have a service speed of 16 knots and a maximum speed of 17 knots.

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