A pair of hybrid vessels being built for KiwiRail at Hyundai’s South Korean Mipo dockyard will be fitted with PLUG shore power solutions from NG3. The vessels will be used by the company to connect the Wellington and Picton ports in New Zealand.
Classified by Lloyd’s Register, the 220m-long hybrid vessels – which are due to be commissioned in 2025 – will have an 11,000V NG3 PLUG system installed, able to cover hotel loads and recharge the ship’s batteries in under an hour. The charging system will be situated on Deck 5, in a room under an access ramp to the upper deck, ensuring there is no impact on the vessel’s carrying capacity.
Shore power charging solutions will be available in Wellington and Picton, with an interface provided by Siemens. Siemens was responsible for designing the electric systems of both vessels.
The 11,000V solution is already being used on board the Norwegian ro-pax the MS Color Hybrid (operated by Color Line). Claimed as the largest hybrid vessel in the world at its launch, the ro-pax is capable of zero-emission operations when it switches from diesel propulsion to batteries on entering the Sandefjord Fjord in Norway.
Instead of dealing with the temperature concerns of the Norwegian projects, NG3 will now have to redesign the quayside PLUG interface componentry to deal with vessel movement created by the challenging sea conditions of the Cook Strait, the body of water which separates the North and South islands in New Zealand. The control system will be built according to New Zealand standards.