Ferry News

Brittany Ferries Secures Supply of Eco-Friendy Fuel for New Hybrids

Farmer-owned ferry company Brittany Ferries has announced that it has signed a long-term supply contract with Titan LNG.  The contract secures fuel supplies for two new hybrid vessels ordered by the French firm to replace existing tonnage on the Portsmouth – St Malo and Caen (Ouistreham) routes.

Cleaner Than LNG

The agreement covers the supply of Liquefied Bio Methane (LBM) to the vessels as well as LNG.  LBM is an even cleaner burning fuel than LNG and is manufactured from non-fossil fuel source material, such as agricultural waste, food waste, or landfill.  Not only does using LBM reduce engine emissions, it also consumes gas which would otherwise be released into the atmosphere.  It is also possible to blend LNG and LBM together.  This is already common in home heating applications across Europe and often referred to as bio-LNG.

Régine Portocarero, Titan LNG’s Business Development Manager has hinted that Brittany Ferries owner farmers may in fact be suppliers of source material to manufacture gas for their ferries.  He said:

“We look forward to our journey forward with Brittany Ferries and these innovative ships. We believe strong partnerships are essential for the maritime industry to successfully decarbonise. Furthermore, thanks to the unique farmer-shareholder ownership structure that underpins Brittany Ferries we see great potential in available stocks for local LBM production.”

BRETAGNE. Image: Brittany Ferries.
BRETAGNE is one of the two vessels in the Brittany Ferries fleet that will be replaced by new hybrid ferries. Image: Brittany Ferries.

Two other Brittany Ferries ships, SALAMANCA (already in service) and SANTOÑA (entering service next year), can also run on LNG or LBM.  These are supplied with LNG by Repsol via shoreside facilities in Spain. As with the new hybrid vessels, SANTOÑA and SALAMANCA will also be able to run other “green” fuels such as Hydrogen Derived Liquid Methane as they become commercially viable. SALAMANCA was supplied with fuel from Titan LNG in Malaysia during her delivery voyage.

Frederic Pouget, Operations and Ports Director Brittany Ferries said:

“Ships like Salamanca, Santoña and our forthcoming hybrid ships are cleaner today and greener tomorrow,” 

“Thanks to LNG, they promise an immediate and significant reduction in air quality emissions and a small reduction in GHG emissions. They are greener tomorrow because they are capable of running on fuels like LBM first and later future fuels like Hydrogen Derived Liquid Methane. These have the potential to slash well-to-wake GHG emissions. Our new vessels will therefore automatically become greener when these fuels arrive and there is great potential for expanding the development of the LBM value chain with Titan LNG.”

Titan LNG plans for a 4,200 cbm LNG Krios series bunker vessel to serve Brittany Ferries and to regularly transit between relevant ports.

Rendering of a Titan LNG Krios series bunkering vessel. Image: Titan LNG.
Rendering of a Titan LNG Krios series bunkering vessel. Image: Titan LNG.

Earlier this year, Corsica Linea also signed a contract with Titan LNG for the supply of fuel to its new-build A GALEOTTA. Titan has been working to expand its operations both in the English Channel and Mediterranean.

Corsica Linea's new Visentini Ro-Pax, yard number 238, is manoeuvred out of the building dock at the Italian Shipyard. Image: Corsica Linea.
Corsica Linea’s new Visentini Ro-Pax, yard number 238, is manoeuvred out of the building dock at the Italian Shipyard. The ship has since been named A GALEOTTA. Image: Corsica Linea.

Shoreside Charging

The contract between Brittany Ferries and Titan LNG coincides with plans for shoreside charging facilities to be provided as part of the redevelopment of the port at St Malo.  

Additionally, Portsmouth International Port is also working to provide shoreside charging facilities.  This will allow Brittany Ferries’ new hybrid vessels, which will replace NORMANDIE and BRETAGNE, not only to charge their batteries while in port, but also be completely emission free while alongside by running all systems from shoreside electricity.

As with SALAMANCA and SANTOÑA, the hybrid vessels for Caen and St Malo will be based on Stena’s E-Flexer platform.  They are set to be the most customised vessels in the E-Flexer series to-date when delivered, having been built shorter and with a more advanced powertrain than the vessels delivered so far.  Their interior layout will also be highly customised to reflect the demands of the routes that the ships have been built for, with the BRETAGNE replacement having an entire additional passenger deck fitted. 

Steven Tarbox

Steven is a former retail professional and a ferry writer and photographer. He created NI Ferry Site as a web design project in 2014 to be a news and information source for everyone with an interest in ferries, with a particular focus on Northern Ireland. Steven is the editor of the website and looks after all of the technical aspects.
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