Electronics giant ABB has secured a contract with Spanish shipbuilder Astilleros Gondán to supply an electric power solution for urban passenger ferries that will operate on Lisbon’s Tagus river.
The ten new ferries will be operated by the public ferry company Transtejo on three key routes linking Lisbon to Cacilhas, Seixal and Montijo on the south bank of the Tagus, and will enter service between 2022 and 2024. Each 40-meter ferry will carry up to 540 passengers, and will have a maximum speed of 17 knots.
In addition to energy storage, ABB will deliver an electric power solution and an integrated marine and propulsion automation system. Each ferry will be powered by battery packs with a total capacity of 1,860 kWh. ABB’s Onboard DC Grid power distribution system ensures that the battery output is delivered to the ferry’s subsystems in the most optimal way. The overall power setup is controlled by ABB’s Power and Energy Management System, which is designed to increase fault tolerance and provide a high degree of reliability while ensuring the maximum lifetime for the batteries.
ABB estimates that converting the ferries from diesel to all-electric power will eliminate about 6,500 tons of CO2 emissions every year.
“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,” said Antonio Pacheco of Astilleros Gondán. “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.”
Data from the Maritime Battery Forum indicates that over 130 battery-powered ferries are already in operation around the world, and 90 more are on order. Within the last nine months, ABB has announced all-electric ferry projects with P&O Ferries, Washington State Ferries and the Busan Port Authority in South Korea.
“Operators serving inland waters have been among the pioneers of zero-emission propulsion, and ABB’s technology will support the sustainability goals of one of Europe’s great capitals,” said ABB’s Juha Koskela. “This project is a milestone for zero-emission propulsion, showing that proven technology is available today for sustainable fast passenger ferry transport.”