New Ships

P&O Ferries has signed a 260m Euros contract with China’s Guangzhou Shipyard International for two new ships for their Dover to Calais service. The ships have been designed by Denmark based naval architects OSK-ShipTech. Prelimiary entry to service is scheduled for 2023.

Onboard highlights will include double-height panaoramic windows on both passenger decks and for the first time operating out of Dover the ships will be double-ended meaning that they will have two bridges and thus remove the need to turn around in each port. This will not only save time (~7 minutes per crossing) but also fuel, it is estimated around 1 tonne. Total fuel savings will be higher as the ships will feature hybrid technology and be able to operate partly on battery power.

The new ships will be powered by a combination of fuel and battery propulsion, which will cut fuel use by 40%. All surplus energy generated by the powerplant will be stored in the batteries. The batteries will then charge when excess energy is being created and discharge when the ships require peak power.

Innovative heat recovery systems will help to further reduce the ships carbon footprint and save fuel. A steam system will provide heating for ultra-low sulphur fuel oil heaters, fuel tanks, fuel/fuel oil purifier heaters and HVAC system reheating. Meanwhile, a heat pump will be used for HVAC system preheating, domestic hot water, machinery rooms and technical spaces below deck eight.

Crew will be able to close up to 2/3rds of the ship during off-peak sailings, while the intelligent power management system will be able to turn off the lighting and ventilation in empty areas. The system will also optimise the use of engines, batteries and energy recovered from waste heat.

P&O's CEO Janette Bell stated "These will be the most sustainable ships ever to sail on the English Channel, providing the best-ever customer experience and setting new standards for reliability and cost efficiency, together with our freight and overnight routes on the North Sea, the new ships will offer customers travelling between Britain and Europe an unrivalled range of services connecting sea and land. They are designed to secure P&O Ferries’ position as a vital part of Europe’s transport infrastructure into the 2040"

Whilst this is exciting news, it will no doubt prove to be a double edged sword as in time we will get the sad news that existing ships will be retired. But then the current ships Pride of Burgundy, Pride of Kent and Pride of Canterbury will be 30+ years old in 2023.