Brittany Ferries and STX France have been co-operating for two years on a study regarding the feasibility of powering a cruise-ferry by Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG). Now, a contract has been signed that will deliver a ship, costing EUR 270 million (USD 370 million), from STX France’s shipyard at St. Nazaire in late spring 2017.
Vessel specifications are: length 210 metres; width 32 metres; draught 7 metres; gross tonnage: 52,500; maximum speed: 24.5 knots; dual-fuel propulsion capability with marine gas oil as back up. With a crew complement of 189 and 12 decks, the vessel will have capacity for 2,474 passengers and garaging for 800 cars (or mix, for example, of 325 cars plus 80 freight units).
Under the name of PEGASIS (Power Efficient GAS Innovative Ship) the project was born out of STX’s ECORIZON research program which focuses on investing in and developing environmentally friendly technology. The project has the support of GICAN, a professional group representing the French naval and maritime industries, and the French and regional Governments.
The use of LNG enables PEGASIS to meet the new goals of greater environmental performance that the shipping industry has imposed through Annex 6 of the International Convention for the Prevention of pollution from Ships (MARPOL) which will come into force January 1, 2015 and the sulfur Directive of 21 November 2012 on the sulfur content of marine fuels. The dual-fuel engines using LNG as the main source of energy will cut out SOx and fine particulate emissions (99% reduction) and will reduce her NOx emissions by 80% and CO2 by 20%.
This contract represents about 2.6 million working hours for STX France and its sub-contractors, or 500 jobs over three years for STX and its partners.
The adoption of LNG will lead STX to develop its expertise and competitiveness in a nascent industrial sector. Arnaud Montebourg, Minister of Industrial Renewal and Frédéric Cuvillier, Junior Minister for Transport, Marine and Fisheries at the Ministry of Ecology, Sustainable Development and Energy have welcomed the announcement as contributing to the policy of sustainable development promoted by the Government, particularly in the maritime transport ‘green ship’ sector presented in September 2013. According to the Ministers’ press release, STX can “count on the involvement of the State to make their investment in the construction of LNG vessels a successful fulfillment of this national ambition”.
The PEGASIS will replace Brittany Ferries’ current flagship, Pont-Aven, which will move to the Portsmouth-St Malo route.
(Sources: STX France, Ministry press release)
Arnaud Montebourg, Minister of Industrial Renewal and Frédéric Cuvillier, Junior Minister for Transport, Marine and Fisheries at the Ministry of Ecology, Sustainable Development and Energy have welcomed the announcement.