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GSI Delivers Another Luxury Ro-Ro Vessel, the First of Its Kind in the World, with Bow-Transom Bidirectional Navigation

On November 29th, the world’s first large-capacity battery hybrid double-ended luxury roll-on/roll-off passenger vessel built by CSSC’s Guangzhou Shipbuilding International (GSI) for the UK’s P&O Ferries was successfully delivered.

It is a 1,500 passenger/3658 meter lane luxury roll-on/roll-off vessel named “P&O LIBERTE”. The vessel will be put into operation in the English Channel, mainly between the ports of Dover, UK and Calais, France.

The first of two vessels of this type, the P&O Pioneer, was commissioned earlier this year on the route from Dover, UK to Calais, France. Compared with the same type of ships operating on the route, this ship can reduce carbon emissions by 40%. This delivery also means that two of the world’s first orders for high-capacity battery-hybrid passenger ro-ro vessels have been delivered.

The P&O Pioneer in operation

This type of vessel is the first double-ended vessel with high-capacity battery hybrid propulsion built in the world. There are four battery rooms on board, equipped with a total of 1,160 large-capacity batteries, and the installed capacity of the batteries reaches 8.8 MWh (megawatt hours), which is equivalent to the sum of the battery capacity of 150 passenger electric cars. The vessel is able to maximize energy efficiency by recycling excess power into the vessel’s high-capacity batteries while sailing and ensuring that the power supply system remains in an efficient operating range.

The fuel oil power generation propulsion mode and battery propulsion mode can be switched at the touch of a button. In particular, when the ship is operating in and out of ports and sailing offshore, it can be completely propelled by battery mode, thus realizing “zero” emission of pollutants and minimizing air pollution to ports and cities.

It is reported that the vessel has a length of 230.5 meters, a beam of 30.8 meters, a service speed of 20.8 knots, and a completely symmetrical bow and stern structure. It is the first ship in the world equipped with two pod thrusters at the front and rear, which can realize 360-degree full rotary propulsion. Therefore, it can also realize two-way navigation from bow to stern, which can effectively shorten the time of entering and leaving the port and greatly improve the operation efficiency. This is the first time in the world that such a double-head design has been adopted for a large passenger vessel.

Moreover, the ship is highly automated, and all functions can be automatically controlled, with more than 12,000 alarm points and various control points throughout the ship. When sailing, the entire cabin can be made to know exactly what is going on in the cabin without the need for a crew member to be on duty.

The ship’s integrated information technology system includes more than ten sub-systems covering business functions such as analysis of passenger consumption behavior and crew management on board, providing information technology support for navigation and operation. The system also meets the requirement of dual-link redundancy, i.e., when one core switch fails, the other core switch can switch seamlessly.

It is worth mentioning that the ship’s information technology integration system is developed and provided by Guangzhou Hongfan Technology Co., Ltd, a subsidiary of GSI, which realizes the independent research and development of the relevant system for the first time.

It is reported that the ship can carry 1,500 passengers and more than 700 vehicles of various types at a time, making it suitable for passenger and vehicle commuting between islands and bays. The public area on board for passenger activities covers more than 10,000 square meters.

GSI stated that, currently, GSI has achieved 100% localization in the whole process of design, manufacture and installation of the interior of its luxury roll-on/roll-off vessels.

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