Brittany Ferries Defines CO2 Savings from LNG Fleet

| United Kingdom: Portsmouth | Source: Brittany Ferries

Brittany-Ferries-invests-in-two-new-cruise-ferries-to-serve-SpainBrittany Ferries says the name Santoña (pronounced Santonia in English) has been chosen for the company’s third E-Flexer class ship. To be chartered from Stena, Santoña is part of the company’s €550 million fleet renewal programme, with a clear focus on sustainable development. Santoña will arrive in 2023 and like sister ship Salamanca, she will be powered by environmentally-friendly Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG).

Santoña will be the third LNG powered vessel to join the Brittany Ferries fleet. The fuel, which burns more efficiently than diesel, promises significant improvements in air quality as well as a reduction in greenhouse gas emissions. Combustion produces no sulphur, virtually no particulates and 95% less NOx (nitrogen dioxide) than diesel. LNG is also up to 28% better in terms of greenhouse gas emissions according to findings of an independent, peer-reviewed report published in April this year*.

“Brittany Ferries is committed to LNG as the most environmentally-friendly fuelling solution currently available for shipping,” said Frédéric Pouget, Brittany Ferries director of fleet and port operations. “Despite the significant investment made in scrubber technology for our ships, we know that the best way to respect the environments in which we operate, and to exceed emission reduction targets, is to commit to LNG. This is what we have done with an investment worth half a billion euros.”

The company’s first LNG ship, Honfleur, will be operational next year. She is currently under construction in Germany and will serve the company’s busiest Portsmouth to Caen route. Salamanca will arrive in 2022 to carry passengers and freight on long haul routes between the UK and Spain. Santoña will join the fleet in 2023.

CO2 reduction per passenger

The company’s fleet renewal programme promises a significant reduction in carbon emissions per passenger compared with vessels currently operating between the UK and Spain. That’s because Cap Finistère and Baie de Seine are less efficient vessels with much smaller passenger and freight capacities than the LNG e-Flexer class ships that will replace them.

The company will also run four round trips from the UK to Spain each week, instead of five. This means a significant saving in fuel consumption and emissions, while still promising a 10% improvement in passenger capacity and 28% increase in freight space.

These savings, combined with improved efficiency thanks to better hull design and modern engines, and the use of LNG to power vessels, will realise an estimated saving of around 46% CO2 per passenger compared with current vessels on the company’s long-haul routes.

LNG refuelling

In terms of refuelling infrastructure, Brittany Ferries has developed an innovative solution to re-fuel its first LNG vessel, Honfleur.  In partnership with Total, industry-standard containerised LNG will be trucked on board, then lifted into position by on-board cranes where they will replenish Honfleur’s fixed on-board LNG storage tank. The process will be reversed when mobile tanks are empty.

Additional costs of Honfleur’s LNG systems and equipment have been partially offset by the support of the French Government “Program of Investments for the Future” (“Vehicle of the Future” sub-program) and operated by ADEME.

For Spanish operations, Brittany Ferries has signed a letter of intent with Spanish energy company Repsol for the delivery of LNG. Under the agreement between the two companies, Repsol will install quayside LNG storage facility at ports in northern Spain.  Confirmation is expected later this month. This will then be used to fuel both E-Flexer ships during their calls.

The E-Flexer class ships will be amongst the largest 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.


*Cycle GHG Emission Study on the Use of LNG as Marine Fuel

The study, commissioned by SEA\LNG and SGMF, was conducted by thinkstep according to ISO 14040/44 standards. The report has been critically reviewed by a panel of independent academic experts. It analysed the life cycle greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions of the use of LNG as marine fuel compared with current and post-2020 conventional oil-based fuels. Air quality was also assessed by comparing local pollutants from the operation of the vessels using different fuels.

The collaboration and support from a large number of SEA\LNG and SGMF member companies working across the entire fuel supply chain and engine manufacturers enabled the collection of up-to-date, quality technical data. This provided the basis for a complete life cycle analysis of the GHG intensity expressed in terms of CO2-equivalents.

The study concludes that LNG provides a significant advantage in terms of improving air quality. Beyond the benefits associated with reducing air pollutants, LNG is a viable solution to reduce GHG emissions from international shipping and its contribute to the International Maritime Organization (IMO) GHG reduction targets. However, the study also notes that methane emissions from the supply chain and engine slip need to be reduced further to maximise positive impact both in terms of air quality and GHG emissions.

Key findings from the study:

  • The use of LNG as a marine fuel shows GHG reduction of up to 21 % compared with current oil-based marine fuels over the entire life cycle from Well-to-Wake (WtW). The benefit is highly dependent on the engine technology installed and, to a certain extent, on the type of reference fuel (distillate or residual).
  • On an engine technology basis, the WtW GHG emission reduction for gas fuelled engines compared with HFO fuelled engines are between 14 % to 21 % for 2-stroke slow speed engines, and between 7% to 15 % for 4-stroke medium speed engines.
  • On a Tank-to-Wake (TtW) basis, the combustion process for LNG as a marine fuel shows GHG benefits of up to 28 % compared with current oil-based marine fuels. On an engine technology basis, the TtW emissions reduction benefits for gas fuelled engines compared with HFO fuelled engines are between 18 to 28 % for 2-stroke slow speed engines and between 12 to 22 % for 4-stroke medium speed engines.
  • Local pollutants, such as sulphur oxides (SOX), nitrogen oxides (NOX) and particulate matter (PM), are reduced when using LNG compared with current conventional marine fuels. Due to the negligible amount of sulphur in the LNG fuel, SOX emissions are reduced close to zero. NOX emissions are reduced by up to 95 % to meet the IMO Tier III limits without NOx reduction technologies when using Otto cycle engines. Limited data on PM emissions is available, however reductions of up to 99 % are normal compared with heavy fuel oil (HFO).
  • For post-2020 oil-based marine fuels (low sulphur fuel oil (LSFO) or the use of HFO in combination with an exhaust gas cleaning system) there is no significant difference in the WtW GHG emissions compared with current oil-based fuels.
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