HH Ferries Group officially inaugurates two battery-powered passenger ferries
HH Ferries Group says it has officially inaugurated the two ferries Aurora and Tycho Brahe as the world’s largest battery-powered passenger ferries on the high-frequency route between Helsingborg and Helsingör.
“Today’s official inauguration marks a milestone for HH Ferries Group’s green strategy. The ambitious project reduces the company’s total emissions of CO2, NOx and particles by 65% when the two high-frequency ferries are powered by green electricity. That is great news for the environment in and around Öresund and for customers and inhabitants in our local area. And it proves that determination and the will to invest enables the realization of grand targets – in the environmental area as well,” says Johan Röstin, CEO of HH Ferries AB.
The battery project on Tycho Brahe and Aurora has lasted more than three years, and with a financial scope of around SEK 300 million, it is HH Ferries Group’s largest single investment ever. INEA, the European Union’s executive agency for innovation and network, has supported the project with around SEK 120 million, and the result has been ground-breaking in the maritime world in several ways.
In each port, automatic land-based charging stations equipped with industrial robots perform the connection and maximizes the charging period to enable efficient charging of each vessel’s 640 batteries within a few minutes. The combined battery power of 8,320 kWh for the two ferries is equivalent to 10,700 car batteries. The batteries are located on top of the ferries along with two deckhouses for transformers, converters and cooling systems. From here, cables run to docking points at each end of the vessel, ensuring that the batteries can be charged swiftly and without complications at each docking – with the power of 70 electric cars.
“It is a pioneer project we have completed, and even though it has been challenging, it has been worth the efforts. Our employees and collaboration partners have put in a huge amount of work to ensure that the new technology is efficient. Simultaneously, our owners and INEA have supported and displayed great trust in the project throughout the process. Today, it is the result of a joint effort that we can all be proud of and take part in celebrating. Tomorrow, we will share this joyous occasion with our passengers when all foot passengers are invited onboard all of our ferries between 10 am and 6 pm. And we are looking forward to many years of emission and noise-free crossings with Öresund’s floating bridge – to the benefit of us all,” says Johan Röstin.
HH Ferries Group operates the Helsingborg-Helsingör ferry route, transporting up to 50,000 passengers and 9,000 cars across Öresund on a daily basis with departures every fifteen minutes. The five modern vessels on the route offer travelers a short travel time of 20 minutes and a pleasant break with the option of shopping at low prices and enjoying a wide selection of food and beverages onboard.
The ferry route Helsingborg-Helsingör is the region’s floating bridge with the five vessels Aurora, Tycho Brahe, Hamlet, Mercandia IV and Mercandia VIII. The ferries are environmentally friendly and fitted with catalytic converters. Aurora and Tycho Brahe have now been converted to battery operation at a total investment of around SEK 300 million. INEA, the EU’s executive agency for innovation and network, supports the project with around SEK 120 million. In 2017, the ferry route Helsingborg-Helsingör transported 7.1 million passengers and 1.3 million cars, 428,000 trucks and 18,000 buses, corresponding to around 20% of the vehicles crossing Öresund1 . The route promotes integration and growth in the Öresund region, and is operated by 750 employees. It operates on a daily basis to ensure an efficient connection between Denmark and Sweden with a view of making travellers’ crossing as pleasant and efficient as possible. The route furthermore contributes to generating up to 2,000 jobs in the region. The ferry route is owned by the company HH Ferries AB, headquartered in Helsingborg. Johan Röstin is CEO of HH Ferries AB, which is owned by investment company First State Investments.