P&O Ferries expands fleet on European route

P&O Ferries has purchased two vessels to boost the cargo capacity on its Dover-Calais service.
P&O is planning to boost freight operations
P&O is planning to boost freight operations

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P&O Ferries has purchased two vessels to boost the cargo capacity on its Dover-Calais service.

The company recently signed a letter of intent with Finnish shipbuilder Aker Yards for the construction of the ships, which are expected to become the largest ferries to ever operate in the short-sea sector.

“With this investment, P&O Ferries, the largest ferry operator on the Strait of Dover, is planning to capture growth in the freight market, currently running in excess of 5% per annum, whilst also serving the tourist market with a superior onboard offering,” indicated P&O Ferries, in a company statement.

The newbuilds, valued at US$552 million, will weigh 49,000 gross tonnes each. Set to enter service in December 2010 and September 2011, space will be allocated for 160 articulated lorries, while a third deck will be available for a maximum of 250 tourist vehicles.

In addition, the ferries will provide room for up to 1500 freight drivers and passengers.

“These ships will be as environmentally friendly as possible, offering significant advances in fuel efficiency,” the company statement added. “We are also planning to select eco-friendly construction materials and intend to obtain a Green Passport issued by Lloyd’s Register.”

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