Translation of TU Media AS article by Tore Stensvold, published on March 27, 2017. Original article can be found here.
The Battery Factory Plan B Energy Storage (PBES) in Trondheim, consisted in August 2016 of two people. A careful trial production began in May-June. Now there are 40 employees and PBES expects a turnover of 200 million NOK this year.
About a year ago, fishing boats were produced on these premises. Now large battery packs are put together, which will provide large passenger ferries and other vessels electrical power to plow through the sea.
The shipment with 40 tons of batteries is the second within three weeks. Altogether, 89 tons of battery packs with racks are going to be installed on two ferries that daily cross the strait between Denmark and Sweden at Helsingborg and Helsingør.
From environmental battle to commercial construction.We started off as environmentalists. Now we are about to build an advanced technology environment and a new industry, says production manager Tim Keast.
The maritime industry is becoming battery electric – either hybrid or full electric. Danish HH Ferries Group, which operates ferries under the name Scandlines, opened their eyes to batteries a couple of years ago and replaced a large diesel engine in each of the two Germany Ferries with large batteries. It was a success. Fuel consumption has dropped sharply. Last year they took an even tougher decision: Making Helsingør-Helsingborg ferries 100 percent electric. They are the world’s largest battery ferries.
MF “Aurora af Helsingborg” and “MF Tyco Brahe are 111 meters long, 28 meters wide and were built in Norway in 1991. Now two diesel engines in each of them are thrown out to make room for the battery packs of 8,32 MWh altogether. According to an ABB press release, HH Ferries awarded the contract worth 300 million kroner to ABB. ABB will install the energy management system, Onboard DC Grid and charging system with robot. In April, Tyco Brahe will go to the shipyard Öresund Dry Docs for retrofitting and Aurora will follow in October. ABB relied on PBES as a supplier even though the factory did not even exist other than on paper at that time.