Electric vessel venture being investigated by Brittany Ferries

Brittany Ferries has embarked on feasibility plans for an ell-electric ferry.

A partnership deal has been agreed to explore the design and technical requirements for a 137-metre zero-emissions craft for use on shorter routes.

The French ferry company is working with marine engine manufacturer Wartsilaand Tasmanian shipbuilder Incat on the project.

Wartsila is a supplier to five new ships in Brittany Ferries’ on-going fleet renewal scheme, including liquified natural gas (LNG) engines that power Salamanca, which joined the fleet in 2022, and Santona in 2023. 

The company is alsois installing LNG-hybrid power for vessels currently under construction and set to sail for Europe by the end of the year.

Brittany Ferries took delivery of an Incat fast-ferry in 2005 and served the company under the name Normandie Express until 2021. 

The vessel is currently chartered to Condor Ferries operating as Condor Voyager on St Malo-Channel Islands routes.

Brittany Ferries is a minority shareholder of Condor Ferries and chief executive Christophe Mathieu is also CEO of Condor.

He said: “This is an important project as we look at different ways to reach net zero by 2050. 

“All-electric power is a potential solution, best suited to shorter ferry routes. At this stage we don’t know what is feasible, and upon which route, but what we can say is that trusted partners will help us scope it out. 

“Upon completion of the project we can move quickly. Brittany Ferries has a track record of walking the talk when it comes to leading the industry on sustainable ferry travel, as our investment in LNG and hybrid ships shows.”

Incat chief executive Stephen Casey added: “We know that battery electric propulsion coupled with lightweight aluminium vessels is the ideal choice to eliminate emissions, and we are thrilled to be continuing our relationship with both Brittany Ferries and Wartsila as we collectively lead the next evolution of sustainable maritime transport throughout Europe.”

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