ABB to power world’s largest emission-free electric ferries and deliver first automated shore-side charging station

21 June, 2016 (Zurich, Switzerland) – Innovative ABB technology reduces emissions, increases efficiency of battery charging, reduces safety risk on HH Ferries route between Helsingør and Helsingborg

ABB will supply the complete power and propulsion systems for two HH Ferries Group vessels to become the world´s largest emission-free electric ferries. The modernizations utilize turnkey ABB solutions including batteries, an energy storage control system and Onboard DC Grid technology. At both ends of the route ABB will supply the first automated shore-side charging stations using an ABB industrial robot, to optimize the connection time and therefore maximize the charging period.

The two ferries, Tycho Brahe and Aurora, will operate completely on battery power between Helsingør (Denmark) and Helsingborg (Sweden), a distance of approximately 4 km carrying more than 7.4 Million passengers and 1.9 million vehicles annually. The new battery solution will help lower total emissions across the fleet by more than 50 percent from the current diesel operated vessels. The combined battery power of 8,320 kWh for the two ferries is the equivalent of 10,700 car batteries.

Introduced in 2001, ABB’s IRB 7600, with its proven track record, is being used as part of the new charging station technology. All pre-docking procedures are based on 3D laser scanning and wireless communication between ship and shore. During the last 400 mm of the ferry’s approach the robot will reach out and pull the shore cable from the ship. The cable reel releases the cable and the robot moves the connectors to the corresponding connectors below the robot. After the connection is made, the robot moves back to the home-position and the roll-up doors closes. The robot will reside inside its own building when not in use.

“This order goes to the very core of what we do at ABB,” says Juha Koskela, Managing Director of ABB’s Marine and Ports business unit. “These are highly innovative solutions in line with our Next Level strategy, improving the efficiency while lowering the environmental impact.”

The order is another milestone in the maritime passenger segment for ABB.

“The ferry services across Scandinavia and the Nordic region are leading the world in terms of progressive environmentally friendly solutions. ABB is at the forefront of this revolution,” said Koskela.

It is an inherent part of HH Ferries’ strategy to actively safeguard the environment, and the ferry company has adhered to emission regulations since 2007, which were later implemented in 2015.

“In this context we are very pleased that we together with ABB and with proven technology and in an innovative way, have been able to create a new set up to retain our position as a highly efficient high capacity route,” says Chief Executive Officer Henrik Rørbæk, HH Ferries Group. “From an environmental point, we invest responsibly in tomorrow’s technology solutions leading towards a greener future.”

The investment is co-financed by INEA, the EU’s executive agency for innovation and network.

Introducing ABB’s groundbreaking shore connection robot

About ABB

ABB ( is a leading global technology company in power and automation that enables utility, industry, and transport & infrastructure customers to improve their performance while lowering environmental impact. The ABB Group of companies operates in roughly 100 countries and employs about 135,000 people.

About HH Ferries

HH Ferries Group ( owns the ferry route between Helsingborg and Helsingør, which is marketed under the trademark Scandlines Helsingborg-Helsingør. With departures every fifteen minutes and a travel time of 20 minutes, Scandlines Helsingborg-Helsingør transports up to 50,000 passengers and 9,000 cars as well as 1,600 buses and trucks across Øresund on a daily basis. HH Ferries does 50,000 single trips per year. In total, a distance equal to approximately five times around the globe.

For more information, please contact:

ABB Marine and Ports
Peter Lovegrove
Tel. +47 409 04 294