Brittany Ferries announces liquefied natural gas-fuelled ship which produces zero sulphur dioxide and low levels of nitrogen dioxide
A new ferry which produces zero sulphur dioxide emissions as well as low levels of nitrogen dioxide is set to be launched on a route between the UK and Spain by French firm Brittany Ferries.
The ferry, unveiled this week (January 14), will be the first from the UK to use liquefied natural gas (LNG), and the French ferry company claims it will be one of the biggest such vessels in the world.
Further to the sulphur and nitrogen dioxide benefits, the ferry also emits around 25% less carbon dioxide during combustion than marine fuel oil and burns with no smoke or soot, according to Brittany Ferries.
The launch is the culmination of a two-year study regarding the feasibility of powering a cruise-ferry via LNG carried out by the ferry firm in partnership with ship building firm STX France.
The new ship, costing some 270 million euros (Â£225 million) will be built by STX France in St. Nazaire and will enter service in late spring 2017. Features of the ship include an indoor swimming pool, two cinemas and several bars and restaurants.
It will replace Brittany Ferriesâ€™ Pont-Aven ship, which will now move to the Portsmouth to St Malo, France route.
LNG is natural, colourless and odourless gas that has been cooled down to minus 162 degrees Celsius (minus 260 degrees Fahrenheit). This transforms it from a gas to a liquid and shrinks it 600 times in volume.
Around 14 million vehicles worldwide are powered using LNG, which is also used in the manufacturing process for the likes of food processing, steel, juice bottles, toys, detergents, plastic floors and medicines. Natural gas currently accounts for around 25% of Europeâ€™s energy supply.
Mike Bevens, the firmâ€™s commercial director, commented: â€œThis represents a huge investment which will benefit not simply our customers but the environment as well.
He added: â€œNo other ferry in the UK will come close to offering this new ship’s range of facilities and its launch will mark the beginning of a new era in ferry travel.â€