LoI with German Yard for New Ship Powered by LNG
France-based Brittany Ferries has disclosed plans for a new liquefied natural gas-fueled cruise ferry. Brittany has a letter of intent for the 607-foot (185-meter) vessel to be built by Flensburger Schiffbau in Germany for launch in 2019.
The new ship is to connect Portsmouth in England with Caen, in northwest France. “It will be one of the cleanest, most environmentally-friendly ships to operate in UK waters,” states a release.
Designers will draw on technology developed for the operator’s Pegasis (Power Efficient GAS Innovative Ship) LNG ship project, which was suspended due to financial difficulties in late 2014 (HHP Insight, October 14, 2014).
Technical Expertise from Pegasis
Pegasis was to have resulted in a 689-foot LNG cruise ferry which would have entered service as soon as 2017. It would have replaced the current Pont-Aven on long-haul routes between the UK and Spain, says a spokesman.
“The new project is different,” he told F&F via email. “This ship is projected to replace Normandie (built 1992) on our Portsmouth – Caen route.
“Of course, being an LNG-powered ship it will benefit from much of the technical expertise of the Pegasis project.”
The new LNG ship will operate in tandem with the cruise ferry, Mont St Michel, which was launched in 2002.
“The signing of this letter of intent with the Flensburger shipyard is a concrete step towards the construction of a new generation of Brittany Ferries ships,” Brittany Ferries CEO Christophe Mathieu said in a release.
“Despite Brexit, we remain confident in our ability to continue to grow and modernize our route network, serving both tourism and trade in the regions of western Europe,” he said.
Most Passengers Are British
More than four in five people travelling on Brittany Ferries ships are British and more than 2.4 million passengers were carried in 2016, the French company says. A final contract for new LNG ship, which will be able to carry 1,680 passengers, is expected to be signed in spring 2017, “following which construction will start.”
The Brittany Ferries spokesman says that the company no plans at this time to convert its other vessels to LNG operation.
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Source: Brittany Ferries with Fleets & Fuels follow-up