The P&O Pioneer, the world’s first large-capacity battery hybrid propulsion and two-way navigation luxury Ropax ship, is all set to depart Guangzhou, Guangdong province, and head towards Europe within the week. The ship, built by Guangzhou Shipyard International Co (GSI) for P&O Ferries of Britain, will operate between Britain’s Port of Dover and France’s Port of Calais in the English Channel in the months to come.
This state-of-the-art vessel boasts a hybrid system (engine plus battery) and is powered by four Azipods, enabling it to enter or leave a port without having to turn around. With two pilot houses located at the bow and stern of the ship, both equipped with the same operating equipment, the crew can drive the ship from either pilot house. The ship is equipped with four battery rooms that house 1,160 large capacity batteries, providing a total battery capacity of 8.8MWh (megawatt hour), which is equivalent to 150 electric passenger vehicles.
The ship measures 230.5 meters in length, has a breadth MLD of 30.8 meters, and a draft of 6.32 meters. It is designed to accommodate 1,500 passengers and 700 vehicles, along with bars, restaurants, gyms, and various other entertainment facilities. The vessel is designed to reach speeds of up to 20.8 knots, which is equivalent to around 38 kilometers per hour.
The ship’s interior is designed with 100 percent localization, achieving high standards of environmentally friendly Ropax vessels, which is a testament to China’s leading shipbuilding strength and technology, according to Zhou Xuhui, Vice-President, and Senior Engineer at GSI, a Shanghai Stock Exchanges listed company. The P&O Pioneer is the first luxury Ropax vessel built by GSI for P&O Ferries, and another one will be delivered in June.