ABB to power South Korea’s first domestic zero-emissions ferry

Written by Marine Log Staff
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40-meter catamaran ferry will have the capacity to carry up to 100 passengers and five crew.

South Korea’s Haemin Heavy Industries shipyard has awarded ABB a contract to provide a complete power and propulsion solution for Busan Port Authority’s first all-electric passenger ferry.

The order for the ferry marks the first commitment by South Korean authorities to a plan that will see 140 state-owned conventionally powered vessels replaced with those operating on cleaner alternatives by 2030.

Sustainable transportation, including marine vessels, will play an important role in South Korea’s plan to achieve net-zero emissions by 2050, set out in the country’s Green New Deal, announced in 2020.

As the first system integrator chosen to support this initiative, ABB will deliver an end-to-end electric power and propulsion solution for the ferry, which is due for delivery in 2022. The 40-meter catamaran ferry will have the capacity to carry up to 100 passengers and five crew and will operate between Busan’s North and South ports, taking about one hour to complete a round trip journey with an average operating speed of 13 knots (24 km/h).

Busan-based Haemin, which specializes in lightweight environmentally-friendly vessels, and ABB have also signed an agreement to collaborate on further vessel in the future.

“We are truly proud to have been chosen as technology supplier for the first vessel in South Korea’s clean fleet renewal scheme,” said Juha Koskela, Division President, ABB Marine & Ports. “Our agreement with Haemin represents a major advance in the local market, supporting South Korea’s plans for sustainable shipping, as part of our strategy for reducing global vessel emissions. Sustainability is a key part of the value that we create for all of our stakeholders and the new partnership with Haemin is an example of how we enable a low-carbon society and help preserve resources.”

“Being commissioned to build the first ever fully electric vessel for the South Korean market is a great honor,” said Hyeong-seok Oh, CEO, Haemin Heavy Industries Co., Ltd. “We are looking forward to working with ABB, whose proven technologies and long presence in South Korea are a key part of this landmark project.”

The ferry will be powered by two 1,068-kWh battery packs that will provide enough power for it to complete up to four round-trip journeys before charging from shore during overnight stops.

ABB’s Onboard DC Grid power distribution system will ensure that the battery output is delivered to the vessel’s subsystems in the most optimal way, while ABB’s Power and Energy Management System (PEMS) will control the overall power distribution, increase fault tolerance and provide a high degree of reliability.

Once in operation, the ferry will be remotely monitored and supported by experts from ABB’s global network of ABB Ability Collaborative Operations Centers. Remote support and connectivity, together with advanced data analytics enabled by the ABB Ability Remote Diagnostics System, will further enhance the vessel’s operational safety and ensure optimal performance, while helping to promptly detect and correct faults on board.

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