Brittany Ferries is to use two new hybrid LNG-electric ships to serve routes between Portsmouth and St Malo and Caen. Scheduled for delivery in 2024/2025, the vessels will cut the company’s emissions and reduce noise pollution.
The ships’ hybrid system consists of two propellors, with each propellor connected to a separate gearbox via a prop shaft. The gearbox then manages the power from one LNG engine and one reversible electric motor. Where appropriate, the electric motor is then used to drive the propeller, to charge the ship’s batteries, or to power onboard systems such as air conditioning, heating and lighting when in port.
The propellor drive can also be boosted by power from the second LNG engine which is configured via the gearbox for the second propellor. During reverse operations the electric motor charges the batteries.
When at sea, the vessels will be powered by LNG (liquefied natural gas), but when carrying out operations such as arriving or departing from port, the ships will utilize onboard batteries to partially or completely power the vessel. Upon reaching the destination, shore-side plug-in power will be available to recharge the batteries.
As part of Brittany Ferries’ fleet renewal plan, the vessels will follow the deployment of other company ships Salamanca in 2022 and Santoña in 2023, both fueled by LNG to serve routes between the UK and Spain.
“Fleet renewal is not a choice for Brittany Ferries; it is an imperative to secure our future,” commented Christophe Mathieu, CEO Brittany Ferries. “Our customers rightly demand cleaner, greener vessels and our port partners expect us to be good neighbors. Furthermore, we will certainly face tighter regulation in the years ahead. The future of our company depends upon our ability to rise to the challenge today, to prepare for tomorrow. That is why I am so proud to announce these new vessels.
“They bring with them a host of innovations just as Bretagne and Normandie did when they were launched. Both vessels have served us well and we are grateful for the support of the regions that bear their name. They are much loved by customers and crew, but now is the time for us to look to the future and to plan for a brighter future, even as we battle the crisis we face today.”