Sep 29, 2016

Siemens’ electric ferries are taking to the seas

2 min
Germany’s Siemens is going to supply propulsion systems for two new Norwegian battery-powered ferries. This means that the all four of the worl...

Germany’s Siemens is going to supply propulsion systems for two new Norwegian battery-powered ferries. This means that the all four of the world’s first electric ferries will be run on Siemens’ technology. Here’s a quick guide to the vessels — and the technology they carry onboard.

Sustainable alternative
Most ferries worldwide are currently operated by diesel engines, but five years ago Norway’s Ministry of Transport and Communications announced a competition to develop a cleaner way to power the boats. Siemens ultimately won the competition and set about designing an all-electric alternative to fossil-fuelled ferries.

Maiden voyage
Last year, Siemens launched the world’s first electric ferry in conjunction with Fjellstrand, a Norwegian shipyard. The vessel, called Ampere, was designed to transport cars and passengers between the villages of Lavik and Oppedal in the Sognefjord. The ferry is powered by three battery packs — one on board and two at each pier.

Continued success
Now, the firm’s two electric ferries have been selected to sail the E39 Anda-Lote route on Norway’s west coast. The vessels will have a cargo capacity of 120 cars, 12 trailers and 349 passengers.

Siemens will install an integrated electric power and automation solution aboard both of the ferries. The company’s electric propulsion solution, BlueDrive PlusC, includes lithium-ion batteries for energy storage and thruster and remote control for the propellers. The ferries will also benefit from an integrated alarm and monitoring system and an energy management system. The ships’ energy storage systems will be charged at each side of the 2.4km crossing and are monitored using WiFi communication.

Operation of the two ferries will commence in January of 2018.

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Image: copyright Multi Maritime, ship design by

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Apr 23, 2021

Drax advances biomass strategy with Pinnacle acquisition

Dominic Ellis
2 min
Drax is advancing biomass following Pinnacle acquisition it reported in a trading update

Drax' recently completed acquisition of Pinnacle more than doubles its sustainable biomass production capacity and significantly reduces its cost of production, it reported in a trading update.

The Group’s enlarged supply chain will have access to 4.9 million tonnes of operational capacity from 2022. Of this total, 2.9 million tonnes are available for Drax’s self-supply requirements in 2022, which will rise to 3.4 million tonnes in 2027.

The £424 million acquisition of the Canadian biomass pellet producer supports Drax' ambition to be carbon negative by 2030, using bioenergy with carbon capture and storage (BECCS) and will make a "significant contribution" in the UK cutting emissions by 78% by 2035 (click here).

Drax CEO Will Gardiner said its Q1 performance had been "robust", supported by the sale of Drax Generation Enterprise, which holds four CCGT power stations, to VPI Generation.

This summer Drax will undertake maintenance on its CfD(2) biomass unit, including a high-pressure turbine upgrade to reduce maintenance costs and improve thermal efficiency, contributing to lower generation costs for Drax Power Station.

In March, Drax secured Capacity Market agreements for its hydro and pumped storage assets worth around £10 million for delivery October 2024-September 2025.

The limitations on BECCS are not technology but supply, with every gigatonne of CO2 stored per year requiring approximately 30-40 million hectares of BECCS feedstock, according to the Global CCS Institute. Nonetheless, BECCS should be seen as an essential complement to the required, wide-scale deployment of CCS to meet climate change targets, it concludes.

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