New LNG-Diesel Fuel Ferry for Brittany Ferries’ UK-Spain Route
France’s Brittany Ferries has ordered a huge 210-m long, 52,000 gt, almost 2,500 passenger capacity, dual-fuel cruise ferry that they claim will be the first in UK waters to use natural gas to power its engines. At the same time they claim it will be first in the world to employ technology that allows the fuel to be carried on board at close to atmospheric pressure.
Dual-fuel cruise ferry PEGASIS: Rendering courtesy of STX France
STX France explains that the ship bears the self-explanatory code name PEGASIS (Power Efficient Gas Innovative Ship) and is one of 34 projects engaged in the ‘New Industrial France’ programme. According to Brittany Ferries four dual-fuel engines (natural gas and marine diesel oil) will be installed (they do not choose to name the engine builders at this stage) with a total installed power of 45 MW and LNG bunker capacity of 1,300 cu.m.
Clearly, much forward bunker safety and logistical planning was needed, and Brittany Ferries say that they were in co-operation with the contracted shipbuilders for two years to study the feasibility of the project before placing the 270 million euros (£225 million) order. Now the ship is to be built at the STX France, shipyard in St. Nazaire with delivery due in late spring 2017, when the new ferry is destined to replace the conventionally powered Pont-Aven on the longer route between UK and Spain.
Main details of the new cruise ferry
• 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
• Number of decks: 12
• Number of passengers: 2,474
• Number of crew: 189
• Number of cabins: 675
• Garage capacity: 800 cars or mix, for example, of 325 cars plus 80 freight units
Compelling reasons for deciding on the bold move to natural gas as the main source of fuel for the new ship are, firstly its low emissions thanks to its clean burning properties and low content of pollutants; secondly, its very good engine combustion characteristics. According to Brittany Ferries the design of the ferry aims to reduce fuel costs and CO2 emissions by 15-20% compared to current ships. It also aims to reduce nitrogen oxide emissions (NOx) by 90%, and sulphur oxide emissions (SOx) by 100%.