New 'greener' hybrid ferries between Portsmouth and France will be a 'game changer'

NEW HYBRID ferries that will transport passengers between Portsmouth and France are set to be a ‘game changer’ by reducing carbon emissions.

Tuesday, 20th July 2021, 9:11 pm

Brittany Ferries’ oldest vessels – the Bretange and Normandie, which journey to St Malo and Caen, will be replaced by two ‘innovative’ ships in 2024.

The LNG-electric ships are similar to hybrid cars and can run on gas, battery power or a combination of both.

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An artist's impression of one of the LNG-electric ships. Picture: Brittany Ferries.

At sea, they will be powered by cleaner LNG (liquefied natural gas) fuel. But in a first on the English Channel, they will also operate partially or completely on battery power– for example when arriving and departing ports.

Christophe Mathieu, the chief executive officer of Brittany Ferries, said: ‘Our customers rightly demand cleaner, greener vessels and our port partners expect us to be good neighbours. Furthermore, we will certainly face tighter regulation in the years ahead. The future of our company depends upon our ability to rise to the challenge today, to prepare for tomorrow. That is why I am so proud to announce these new vessels.

‘They bring with them a host of innovations just as Bretagne and Normandie did when they were launched. They are much loved by customers and crew, but now is the time for us to look to the future and to plan for a brighter future, even as we battle the crisis we face today.’

As well as significantly cutting emissions, the hybrids will create less noise and less vibration for passengers, and will provide more cabin and freight space.

Head of operations at Portsmouth International Port, Ian Diaper, welcomed the news. ‘These new hybrid-LNG vessels will be a game changer for Portsmouth, cutting emissions and carbon at the port,’ he said.

‘For this reason, they fit perfectly with our sustainability ambitions of becoming the UK's first zero emission and net carbon neutral port.

‘Alongside other investments in green technologies such as solar panels, air quality sensors and hybrid battery storage, we’re working with our colleagues at the council to bring shore power capabilities to the port in the coming years.’

As reported, the council-run port will be seeking government funding to provide a power source at the port, to allow vessels to charge without having an impact on the city’s electrical grid.

A message from the Editor, Mark Waldron

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