Brittany Ferries says it will charter a third Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) fueled newbuild cruise-ferry to serve its long-haul routes as part of its commitment to fleet renewal and a more sustainable future. The vessel, to be built at the AVIC Weihai Shipyard in China and is due to join Brittany Ferries’ network in 2023, will be chartered from Stena RoRo.
As yet unnamed, the vessel will be built to the Swedish shipowner’s E-Flexer design. Its arrival will bring to three the number of E-Flexer class ships in Brittany Ferries’ fleet following the arrival of Galicia in 2021 and Salamanca in 2022. Brittany Ferries is also constructing another new ship, Honfleur, at the FSG shipyard in Flensburg Germany, for delivery expected in late 2019.
The charter agreement, which includes an option to purchase, represents the next step in a fleet renewal and investment programme worth around €550m. It will offer increased capacity and comfort for customers as well as employment of French seafarers.
Like Salamanca and Honfleur, the new ship will be powered by Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG). It’s a fuel which presents major environmental advantages over conventional maritime fuels, reducing carbon dioxide emissions by around 20% and cutting sulphur dioxide, nitrogen dioxide and particulate emissions to almost zero.
Brittany Ferries’ CEO Christophe Mathieu comments: “The charter will continue our fleet renewal plans, marking the fourth brand new ship in five years. It signals our confidence in the demand for ferry travel post-Brexit and will help us meet the needs of our passenger and freight customers in the decades to come. It also clearly demonstrates our commitment to LNG as a fuel and, our ambition to operate one of the most modern, green and comfortable ferry fleets in the world.”
The three 42,200 tonne E-Flexer class ships will be among the biggest in Brittany Ferries’ fleet. Each will be 215 metres long with 3,000 garage lane metres for freight vehicles, and capacity for around 1,000 passengers in 340 en-suite cabins.