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Brittany Ferries Takes Delivery of First LNG E-Flexer

Salamanca is the first of five LNG-fuelled E-Flexers ordered by Sweden’s Stena RoRo

French ferry company Brittany Ferries has taken delivery of its second Stena E-Flexer class ferry.  SALAMANCA, which is the first of the class to be LNG (Liquid Natural Gas) fuelled, was handed over to the company by Stena Ro-Ro yesterday at a ceremony in Sweden.  

Brittany Ferries’ CEO Christophe Matthieu travelled to Stena RoRo’s headquarters in Gothenburg to formally sign over the ship.  He said:

“Fleet renewal is key to our business strategy,” 

“It is one of the pillars that will drive our recovery from the Covid crisis and deliver another successful 50 years for Brittany Ferries.

“So it is with gratitude that we thank our partners at Stena RoRo and everyone involved in her construction. From customers and suppliers, to the crew that will sail with her, we all look forward to welcoming Salamanca to the Brittany Ferries family ahead of her sister ship Santoña a year later.”

https://brittanyferriesnewsroom.com/sea-trials-and-simulators-brittany-ferries-takes-delivery-of-salamanca/

As with the rest of the E-Flexer class, SALAMANCA was constructed in Wehai, China.  The new ferry is currently preparing for the start of her delivery voyage.  Her first destination is expected to be Singapore where the ship will take on supplies.

A comparison of the side profile's of part-sisters GALICIA and SALAMANCA. As the latter is fuelled by LNG rather than diesel, she has different venting arrangements. With thanks to Brittany Ferries.
A comparison of the side profile’s of part-sisters GALICIA and SALAMANCA. As the latter is fuelled by LNG rather than diesel, she has different venting arrangements. With thanks to Brittany Ferries.

Although Brittany Ferries intends to run SALAMANCA purely on LNG fuel, the ship is dual-fuel capable. This means that her Wärtsilä-built engines can also run on conventional marine diesel should it be required.  

New Facilities for LNG

Shoreside LNG-bunkering facilities at the Spanish ports of Santander and Bilbao are already under construction by partner Repsol.  SALAMANCA, and her direct sister-ship SANTOÑA, will be deployed on Brittany Ferries routes between England and Spain.  SANTOÑA is scheduled to be delivered to the company early in 2023.  

SALAMANCA's first LNG bunkering trial takes place at the shipyard which built her in Weihai. Image: Brittany Ferries.
SALAMANCA’s first LNG bunkering trial takes place at the shipyard which built her in Weihai. Image: Brittany Ferries.

Brittany Ferries crews are already undertaking training for the new ship at the company’s Atalante training centre in St Malo.  The use of LNG means that specialist training needs to be completed, and so the company has installed a specialist simulator for this purpose.

Brittany Ferries crews undertaking LNG training in St Malo. Image: Brittany Ferries.
Brittany Ferries crews undertaking LNG training in St Malo. Image: Brittany Ferries.

SALAMANCA is the second E-Flexer class ferry to be delivered to Brittany Ferries.  The first, GALICIA, was delivered in September 2020.  That ship has been deployed on the company’s Portsmouth to Santander and Cherbourg routes.  The addition of SALAMANCA to the fleet will see the frequency of the Cherbourg service doubled to twice-weekly from the end of March 2022.  The ship will mostly operate on the Portsmouth – Bilbao route.

SALAMANCA on sea trials. Brittany Ferries.

Three More for Brittany

Brittany Ferries has agreements with Stena RoRo to charter a further three members of the E-Flexer class.  In addition to the aforementioned SANTOÑA, two smaller examples are scheduled for delivery in 2024 and 2025

A side profile image of Brittany Ferries' new Stena E-Flexer ferry for the Portsmouth to Saint-Malo service. Image: Stena RoRo.
A side profile image of Brittany Ferries’ new Stena E-Flexer ferry for the Portsmouth to Saint-Malo service. Image: Stena RoRo.

These will be fitted with electric-hybrid technology in addition to LNG-Diesel dual fuel capability and will replace the veteran ferries NORMANDIE and BRETAGNE.  BRETAGNE and NORMANDIE are currently the oldest vessels in the Brittany Ferries fleet, dating from 1989 and 1992 respectively.

Commenting on the delivery of SALAMANCA, Stena RoRo CEO Per Westling said

“The Salamanca is special because she is the first in the E-Flexer series to be delivered with LNG propulsion,”

“The design has been adapted to Brittany Ferries’ special requirements and the yard has yet again been able to deliver according to schedule despite the ongoing pandemic.” 

https://news.cision.com/stena-roro/r/stena-roro-s-e-flexer-salamanca-delivered-to-brittany-ferries—introducing-lng-dual-fuel-operation,c3463795

The delivery of SALAMANCA means that a further six E-Flexer ferries are currently on order.  Two 240m long examples are expected to be delivered to Stena Line next year.  These are to be deployed on the Nynäshamn – Ventspils route. SANTOÑA will follow in 2023, with the first hybrid example in the series, for Marine Atlantic, arriving in 2024.  The current orders will be completed during 2025 with the delivery of BRETAGNE’s replacement.

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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