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Contract signed to build first LNG-fuelled ferry to regularly operate on the Channel

Vessel will also be world's first passenger ship to be equipped with cranes to lift LNG containers into a fixed position.

Updated on 26 Jun 2017 06:12 GMT

Brittany Ferries has confirmed the order of a new LNG-fuelled cruise ferry which is due to operate on the company's busiest route from Portsmouth to Caen.

The construction contract was signed with Germany's Flensburger Schiffbau-Gesellshaft shipyard; it follows a letter of intent to build the vessel, which was inked by both parties at the start of this year.

The ferry is slated to commence operating on the Portsmouth to Caen cross-Channel route - which offers three daily return sailings - in the spring of 2019. It is due to operate in tandem with the cruise ferry Mont St Michel, which was launched in 2002.

The ship is to be named Honfleur after the seaside destination on the Seine estuary in Normandy. The budget for the construction of the vessel is approximately GBP 175 million ($223 million).

As reported earlier this year, Total has already signed an agreement with Brittany Ferries for the supply of LNG to the new ferry. Olivier Jouny, Total Marine Fuels' managing director, said in February that deliveries would likely be carried out by truck.

The move to LNG follows a EUR 90 million investment in sulphur- and particulate-reducing scrubber technology. These exhaust emission systems have been retrospectively fitted to six Brittany Ferries ships over the last 18 months in a project supported by around GBP 5 million in joint funding from the EU and its executive agency INEA - and the ADEME in France.

Although the Honfleur is not the first ship to be powered by LNG, it is set to be the first regularly operating on the Channel.

Honfleur will also be the first passenger ship in the world to be equipped with onboard cranes that allow 40-foot (ISO standard) LNG containers to be lifted into a fixed position.

The containers will be transported by truck from an LNG terminal to Ouistreham and then driven on board. They will then be hoisted into position alongside a fixed LNG storage tank located at the rear of the superstructure. Upon the next call at port, empty containers will be removed and replenished with full units.

Power delivery will also be very different to other ferries in the fleet. Powered by LNG using diesel-electric-propulsion, Honfleur's four main engines will feed electric generators and two electric shaft propulsion motors with two fixed pitch efficient propellers. This is designed to optimise fuel consumption at reduced speeds.

Christophe Mathieu, CEO of Brittany Ferries, said the vessel "will reaffirm our position as a class-leading operator thanks to LNG propulsion".

"It is important that we invest in new technologies and new vessels that respect the environment in which we operate," Mathieu added.

Key construction dates:

Finalising the design theme (interior): Summer 2017
First steel cutting: February 2018
Keel laying: June2018
Floating out: November 2018
Sea trials: March 2019
Delivery /naming ceremony: 30 April 2019
Entry into service: Early June 2019

Technical specifications:

Length: 187.4 metres
Breadth: 31 metres
Max Draught: 6.6 metres
Tonnage: 42,400 gross tons
Max speed: 22 knots
Decks: 11
Passengers: 1,680
Vehicle capacity: 2,600 lane metres (130 freight trailers, or 550 cars and 64 freight trailers)

Related Links:

Total inks deal to supply new Brittany Ferries vessel with LNG
United Kingdom

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