Dover's Lack of Cold Ironing Could Keep P&O Hybrids Running on Diesel
Ferry in English Channel. File Image / Pixabay.
A lack of quayside charging points for ships at the British ferry port of Dover could see P&0's new ships relying on distillate fuel instead of electricity when they are deployed this year.
The ferry company ordered the hybrid vessels in 2020 to run on the busy cross-channel Dover-to-Calais route. The ship are equipped with diesel generators and 8.8Mwh batteries.
However, according to local news provider Kentonline and other British media, Dover does not have the network capacity to recharge ferry batteries. While senior port officials are reported to have expressed surprise at a lack of consultation, P&O has said that it had "engaged at length" with the port on the issue of shoreside power for its new ships.
Shoreside power, which is also called cold ironing, is seen as a way for port authorities and shipping companies to cut their carbon footprints. Switching to electric power for docked ships also cuts down emissions and is seen a public health benefit.