Leading French ferry operator, Brittany Ferries, and shipbuilder, STX France, are embarking on a joint project to develop a new generation of environmentally-friendly passenger ferries. Powered by dual fuel engines, which will burn liquefied natural gas (LNG) combined with a high efficiency electric propulsion system, the new vessel will reduce energy consumption and CO2 emissions by 15 - 20% compared to current ferries. Furthermore, pollution by nitrous and sulphurous oxides will be almost eliminated.
But the quest for innovation does not end simply with the use of LNG, as the structure will make use of lighter compound materials and high strength glues, together with advanced hull design. The new ship will not only be clean but large and fast, being able to accommodate 2,400 passengers, 650 cars and 40 lorries and have a maximum speed of 25 knots.
Announcing this joint venture Jean-Marc Roué, Brittany Ferries' Chairman said: "Our company has a history of innovation having built a fleet of luxury cruise-style ships that serve our passengers well on the Western Channel routes between the UK, France, Spain and Ireland. Also, as a company founded by farmers, largely owned by farmers and based in Brittany, an area with a rich maritime history, we have a profound respect for the environment and a deep understanding of the need to preserve scarce resources. We therefore are particularly proud to be a partner with STX, a shipyard based in St. Nazaire, on a project which will set new standards in environment-friendly ferry development."