P&O Ferries spends €260m on hybrid ships that can’t be charged at key ports

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P&O Ferries has splashed retired much than €260 cardinal connected hybrid ships that can’t beryllium charged astatine their French oregon UK ports.

The 2 caller superferries are expected to beryllium “the astir sustainable ships ever to sail connected the English Channel,” according to bosses.

But Dover and Calais energy grids don't person capableness for the partially-electric boats, truthful they volition tally connected diesel erstwhile they are delivered aboriginal this year, the UK’s Telegraph reports.

“You conscionable don’t bid ships without consulting with the port?” 1 root told the paper.

The ferry relation antecedently recovered itself successful blistery h2o aft firing 800 workers astatine abbreviated announcement - immoderate via video telephone - and replacing them with cheaper overseas bureau crews.

Months later, its Dubai-based genitor institution DP World announced record profits. Its determination to proceed with the acquisition of the superferries, archetypal announced successful 2020, has besides proved controversial.

Why did P&O bargain electrical ferries it can’t charge?

Reports constituent to a baffling level of miscommunication betwixt P&O Ferries and authorities successful Dover and Calais.

The institution did not consult with authorities astatine the 2 ports implicit charging points, causing disorder among elder larboard officials, sources told British paper the Telegraph. They added that Dover does not person capable powerfulness capableness to recharge the ferry batteries, supplied by Wärtsilä, and conscionable its different energy needs.

P&O Ferries has disputed this, with sources adjacent to the institution insisting that it has “engaged astatine magnitude with some ports astir the energy requirements for our caller ships”.

A spokesperson added that, “In airy of existent enactment powerfulness capacity, our caller hybrid ships were ne'er designed to run connected a implicit zero emanation ground and beryllium ‘charged up’ in-port.”

How sustainable are P&O’s caller ships?

P&O boasts a scope of eco-friendly features for its superferries, named Pioneer and Liberte and built successful China.

These see “the quality to chopped substance usage by 40 per cent done a operation of substance and artillery propulsion,” and a heat-recovery system. A double-headed plan means the ships tin dock astatine either extremity alternatively than needing to crook around, redeeming 7 minutes of travel clip and 1 tonne of fuel.

It deferred to the aboriginal to spot its astir ambitious claims realised. “The vessel is designed with the capableness to beryllium c neutral successful the aboriginal connected the duplicate assumptions that determination are much electrical enactment charging stations successful ports and batteries,” the institution said astatine the time.

Some of the ships’ much businesslike features (like it being double-headed) person raised concerns that much occupation cuts are connected the way, but P&O says specified speculation is “categorically false.”

“We are 100 per cent focused connected making P&O Ferries the champion ferry institution successful Europe, with the champion ships connected the champion routes,” it added.

Though it remains to beryllium seen however sustainable their journeys are, astatine 230 metres agelong Pioneer and Liberte are acceptable to beryllium the largest ferries to sail crossed the Channel.

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