Siemens Supplying Electric Propulsion For Car Ferry

08 January 2020

Siemens will provide an electric propulsion system to power a new Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT) passenger car ferry that will operate between Galveston and the Bolivar Peninsula.

The new ferry will be commissioned to help relieve increasing traffic between Galveston and Port Bolivar and eventually serve as a replacement for some of the older vessels of the ferry fleet. The vessel will carry up to 495 passengers and 70 cars and will be powered by Siemens Siship Blue Drive PlusC and Siship Blue Vault Energy Storage System. The SISHIP BlueDrive family offers scalable solutions for all drive requirements, covering diverse performance graduations for small to medium-sized drives, from 5 KW in auxiliary mode up to 5.5 MW in main drives.

Siemens presented its marine diesel electric power and automation system solutions to the Shearer Group, a Houston, Texas-based naval architecture firm, and representatives from the TXDOT which was then selected for the power, propulsion and automation sole source vendor (SSV). The Blue Drive PlusC system is a proprietary Siemens said its solution differentiates itself from traditional systems in many ways. The solution provides the latest power plant technology while integrating the main switchboard and propulsion drive cabinets into a single cabinet system reducing total weight, space and volume compared to traditional systems. The system is further optimized from a reliability and eco-friendly standpoint by implementing Siemens Siship Blue Vault Energy Storage Systems.

The TxDOT ferry will be the first ferry in the US with Blue Drive PlusC and Blue Vault ESS. “This order is a significant win for Siemens,” said David Grucza, head of marine and oil and gas vessels US.  “It is exciting to see a state agency embrace the technology available while providing considerable benefits for the state.”

The Siemens solution is not only more reliable and robust compared to traditional solutions, but also provides operators with reduced maintenance costs, fuel consumption and system down time.

The ferry will be built by Gulf Island Shipyards, located in Jennings, Louisiana, USA, and is planned for delivery in July 2021.


Receive the information you need when you need it through our world-leading magazines, newsletters and daily briefings.

Sign up


The trusted reference and buyer’s guide for 83 years

The original “desktop search engine,” guiding nearly 10,000 users in more than 90 countries it is the primary reference for specifications and details on all the components that go into engine systems.

Visit Now

Becky Schultz Vice President of Content Tel: +1 480 408 9774 E-mail: [email protected]
Julian Buckley Editor Tel: +44 (0) 1892 784088 E-mail: [email protected]
Chad Elmore Managing Editor Tel: +1 262 754 4114 E-mail: [email protected]
Josh Kunz Power Progress Brand Manager Tel: +1 414 379 2672 E-mail: [email protected]
Roberta Prandi Power Progress International Brand Manager Tel: +39 334 6538183 E-mail: [email protected]