First LNG-powered ferry to serve the UK will enter service in 2022

First LNG-powered ferry to serve the UK will enter service in 2022

The next ship to join Brittany Ferries’ fleet is called Salamanca, will be powered by cleaner LNG and recently took to the water for the first time. Salamanca’s launch ceremony took place at the CMJL shipyard in Weihai, China, where she is under construction. She is the second of three E-Flexer class ships ordered by Brittany Ferries and will join sister-ship Galicia, when she enters service in the spring of 2022. The third ship, Santoña, will also run on LNG and will follow in 2023. Both Salamanca and Santoña will serve the company’s long-distance routes connecting the UK with Spain.

“In spite of Brexit and Covid which have cost our company several hundred million euros already, I am resolved to remain on our path towards eco-responsibility and energy transition,” said Jean-Marc Roué, President Brittany Ferries. “It is a formal commitment I’ve made: we will continue, despite these crises, to reduce our carbon footprint, to keep on improving our fleet and to contribute to the development of the regions we serve. Salamanca is a good illustration of this.”

Salamanca is equipped with two Wartsila 12V46DF engines generating 13,740 kW each (18,500 horsepower per engine). Thanks to energy recovery, electricity production on board comes with low CO2 emissions. Alternators installed on shaft lines produce energy even at very low speeds, which means the ship’s electrical generators are only needed when the ship is alongside.

Bow thrusters work in harmony with articulated rudders, making it possible to facilitate the tightest turns in the harbor. There is no need for stern thrusters. And when it comes to vibration, passengers will notice just how little there is. Fin stabilizers have already proved effective on sister-ship Galicia, minimizing roll and smoothing the choppiest of seas through the Bay of Biscay.

Like her sister, Salamanca will weigh-in at over 42,000 gross tons. That means she will be one of the largest ships ever to serve the company, and at 215 meters long she will be joint-longest. She will carry 1,015 passengers, with over 2.7km of lane-space to house passenger and freight vehicles. She will of course be French-flagged and crewed by dedicated French seafarers.

The facilities for storing LNG will be supplied by Repsol in Spain. Under the terms of the agreement, the fuel company will build two quayside LNG bunkering terminals in the ports of Santander and Bilbao, including a 1,000 m3 storage tank to ensure uninterrupted supply for Salamanca and Santoña.

Fleet renewal is one of the pillars of Brittany Ferries’ five-year recovery plan. The investment in new ships was made well before the pandemic began, but a trio of cleaner, more efficient and comfortable vessels will help secure the company’s future ensuring the continuity of passenger and freight services. Each E-Flexer vessel promises a significant reduction in air quality and greenhouse gas emissions. They are also smoother, quieter and benefit from less vibration with better sea handling, to the benefit of passengers.

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