In France, STX Europe and Stirling Design International (SDI) collaborated to develop a new cruise ship concept, called EOSEAS, launched in 2009. Eoseas is a 305 meters long and 60 meters wide five hulled ship. The concept brought together an array of environmental solutions developed in Saint-Nazaire, including the use of natural gas for operating new generation generators electrically feeding the ship’s hybrid propulsion system and supplying the heating and cooling needs. The implementation of solutions coming out of the EOSEAS concept and subsequent research and development have flowed through to new designs and new ships over the last eighteen months with several STX ships incorporating liquefied natural gas (LNG) for propulsion.
Four dual-fuel LNG diesel electric gensets each of 8 MW, supplemented by 88,800 ft2 (8,300 m2) of photovoltaic panels on side and upper deck panels produce up to 1,08 MW with and average of 270 kWe. There are four screws, two pump propellers with shaft lines on the outriggers and two pump propellers on the main hull.
The program was first launched in 2007. In 2009 the designers stated their development was able to reduce demand on non sustainable energy by 20%. Their goal for 2015 was to reduce the proportion of non sustainable energy used by new vessels to 50%.
One of the most recent projects, between Brittany Ferries and STX France, was aimed at developing a new generation of environmentally-friendly passenger ferries. Powered by dual-fuel engines, which will burn LNG combined with a high efficiency electric propulsion system, the new vessels will reduce energy consumption and CO2 emissions by 15 – 20% compared to current ferries.
Late last year STX Finland Oy announced a project with Viking Lines for the development of a cruise boat. The company’s President, Juha Heikinheimo said, “When the ship is completed, it will be highly innovative and the most environmentally friendly cruise ferry in the world.”
Tightening emissions regulations for shipping are likely to stimulate greater number of STX LNG-powered vessels in the years ahead, all offspring of the EOSEAS concept.