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Tuesday, September 24, 2019 

Reports indicate that UK ferry operator P&O Ferries has contracted with Guangzhou Shipyard of China to build two new vessels for its Dover-Calais route, for delivery in 2023.

The design, by Danish naval architect OSK ShipTech, is intended to be future-proof, with the ability to operate in a 'zero carbon' mode. To achieve this the vessels will be equipped with batteries and shore power facilities. In normal operation, the diesel engines will run on ultra-low sulphur fuel oil, and surplus power will charge the batteries, which will provide reserves of energy when peak power is required, thus cutting fuel use by 40% compared with a conventional ferry. Further fuel savings will be achieved through a heat recovery system which will provide heating for the fuel and lube oil system and onboard HVAC. The HVAC system will be preheated by a heat pump, which will additionally provide heating for the machinery rooms and technical spaces below the main decks. A power management system will close down any part of the ship which is not in use, for further energy savings.

A low-resistance hull form will cut carbon emissions further, while propulsion and manoevring will be handled by azimuthing thrusters.

The contract is valued at €260 million, and the ships will be 230m long - the longest ever to operate on the English Channel short route - and will be of double-ended design, with two bridges, eliminating the need to turn round in port. The order  includes an option for two more ships for 2024 delivery.

“These will be the most sustainable ships ever to sail on the English Channel,” said P&O Ferries CEO Janette Bell.

“This major investment in a new generation of super-ferries is a powerful testament to the commitment of DP World, our owner, to enable trade flows between Britain and Europe by providing first class shipping capacity for many years to come,” said Robert Woods, Chairman, P&O Ferries.

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