Wärtsilä Lifecycle Agreement supports hybrid ferries

Technology group Wärtsilä announced it has signed a five-year Lifecycle Agreement with UK-based P&O Ferries. The agreement covers the vessels M/V Pioneer and the M/V Liberté and is designed to optimize and ensure minimal impact on their operations while providing maintenance cost predictability. The order was booked by Wärtsilä in January 2024.

P&O Ferries M/V Pioneer hybrid ferry The five-year Lifecycle Agreement covers two vessels, the M/V Pioneer (pictured) and the M/V Liberté. (Photo: P&O Ferries)

The M/V Pioneer commenced commercial operations in June 2023, while the M/V Liberté is scheduled to enter service in early 2024. The 230-meter-long ships are reported to be the world’s largest double-ended ferries.

Both vessels feature hybrid propulsion with battery power and four Wärtsilä 31 medium-speed four-stroke main engines; the engines are available in eight- to 16-cylinder configurations and power output ranging from 4.6 to 10.4 MW at 720 and 750 rpm. The two vessels are expected to produce 40% fewer emissions than the ships they replace as they sail their route between Dover, England and Calais, France.

The scope of the Lifecycle Agreement includes parts and maintenance services, as well as maintenance planning, operational support and the Expert Insight predictive maintenance service. This means issues can be identified before they cause a delay in the schedule, Wärtsilä said, which may cause vessel operators to make up the time through increasing speed, resulting in higher fuel bills and emissions.

Lee Martindale, general manager, Sales for UK & Ireland, Wärtsilä, said the company shares a commitment with P&O to decarbonizing shipping operations. “We are, therefore, extremely pleased to support these two environmentally friendly ferries by optimizing their operational performance,” he said. “The Lifecycle Agreement represents a partnership for highest operational efficiency, and the experts supported by digitals tools to ensure minimal interruption, as well as reliable and sustainable operations.”

“We are focused on making P&O Ferries the best ferry company in Europe and this includes doing everything possible to reduce our carbon footprint and protect the environment,” stated Stephen Pitt, senior procurement manager, P&O Ferries. “The ability to leverage Wärtsilä’s advanced digital solutions is central to this – helping us to improve vessel uptime, save fuel and decrease emissions.”

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