ABB has secured a contract with Spanish shipbuilder Astilleros Gondán to supply an all-electric power solution for fast urban passenger ferries operating on Lisbon’s Tagus river.
Some 10 new ferries will be operated by public ferry company Transtejo and will replace the existing fleet serving the route when they enter service between 2022 and 2024. Financial details of the contract were not disclosed.
The 40m-long (131ft) ferries will each have capacity to carry up to 540 passengers on three key routes linking Lisbon to Cacilhas, Seixal and Montijo on the south bank of the Tagus river. They will have a service speed of 16kts (18mph) and a maximum speed of 17kts (19mph).
According to ABB, replacing the 10 ferries operating on the Tagus river from diesel power to all-electric is expected to reduce about 6,500 tonnes in CO2 emissions annually, equivalent to the annual carbon dioxide emissions generated by around 1,400 passenger cars annually.
Antonio Pacheco, director, 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.”
The new ferries will be powered by battery packs with a total capacity of 1,860kWh each. 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.
Furthermore, ABB’s Onboard DC Grid power distribution system will be installed to ensure that the battery output is delivered to the ferry’s subsystems in the most optimal way, 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, which will also increase fault tolerance and provide reliability while ensuring maximum lifetime for the batteries.
“Operators serving inland waters have been among the pioneers of zero-emission propulsion, and we are truly honoured that ABB’s technology will support the sustainability goals of one of Europe’s great capitals,” said Juha Koskela, division president, ABB Marine & Ports.
“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.”