P&O Ferries' new hybrid ships cannot charge at Dover/Calais docks

   March 1, 2023 ,   Cruise Industry

P&O Ferries UK came under criticism for its purchase of 2 new hybrid electric cruiseferries despite a lack of suitable shore-power/in-port charging infrastructure at the homeport that they are primarily scheduled to serve.

The newbuild ferries will have to operate solely on MDO/marine diesel oil shortly after their delivery later in 2023, as the power grids in Dover (England UK) and Calais (France) are currently not capable to supply shoreside electricity for charging the ships' batteries.

There has been an apparent lack of communication between the ferry company and officials at the two ports. However, P&O disputed the reports, reiterating that consultations were made with port officials concerning the electrical power requirements of the new vessels.

The new ferryboats - P&O Pioneer and P&O Liberte, are currently in their final stages of construction in China. In both newbuilds P&O invested ~GBP260 million (USD313 million).

PO Liberte ferry

Although the ships were constructed to also be capable of battery-only voyages, according to a spokesperson for P&O Ferries they were never intended to operate entirely on zero-emission mode "due to existing shore power capacity limitations."