Brittany Ferries names new ships and promises significant CO2 savings from fleet renewal plans

8th July 2019

  • Kerry and Santoña are names confirmed for Brittany Ferries new ships
  • Half a billion Euro fleet renewal programme underway, with three new LNG-powered vessels
  • Anticipated 46% saving in CO2 emissions per passenger, for UK-Spain routes

Date: Monday 8 July 2019

Brittany Ferries has today confirmed names for its next ships. Kerry will be the name for the one-year charter vessel arriving in November 2019. As previously announced, this ship will cover the Cork to Santander route from November 2019 to November 2020.

The company has also revealed that Santoña (pronounced Santonia in English) has been chosen for the company’s third E-Flexer class ship. To be chartered from Stena, Santoña is part of the company’s €550 million fleet renewal programme, with a clear focus on sustainable development. Santoña will arrive in 2023 and like sister ship Salamanca, she will be powered by environmentally-friendly Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG).

Three new LNG vessels on the horizon:

Santoña will be the third LNG powered vessel to join the Brittany Ferries fleet. The fuel burns more efficiently than diesel,so promises significant improvements in air quality as well as a reduction in greenhouse gas emissions.

Combustion produces no sulphur, virtually no particulates and 95% less NOx (nitrogen dioxide) than diesel. LNG is also up to 28% better in terms of greenhouse gas emissions according to findings of an independent, peer-reviewed report published in April this year*.

“Brittany Ferries is committed to LNG as the most environmentally-friendly fuelling solution currently available for shipping,” said Frédéric Pouget, Brittany Ferries director of fleet and port operations. “Despite the significant investment made in scrubber technology for our ships, we know that the best way to respect the environments in which we operate, and to exceed emission reduction targets, is to commit to LNG. This is what we have done with an investment worth half a billion euros.”

The company’s first LNG ship, Honfleur, will be operational next year. She is currently under construction in Germany and will serve the company’s busiest Portsmouth to Caen route. Salamanca will arrive in 2022 to carry passengers and freight on long haul routes between the UK and Spain. Santoña will join the fleet in 2023.

Cutting CO2 per passenger by 46%:

The company’s fleet renewal programme promises a significant reduction in carbon emissions per passenger compared with vessels currently operating between the UK and Spain. That’s because Cap Finistère and Baie de Seine, are less efficient vessels with much smaller passenger and freight capacities than the LNG e-Flexer class ships that will replace them

The company will also run four round trips from the UK to Spain each week, instead of five. This means a significant saving in fuel consumption and emissions, while still promising a 10% improvement in passenger capacity and 28% increase in freight space.

These savings, combined with improved efficiency thanks to better hull design and modern engines, and the use of LNG to power vessels, will realise an estimated saving of around 46% CO2 per passenger compared with current vessels on the company’s long-haul routes.

LNG refuelling:

In terms of refuelling infrastructure, Brittany Ferries has developed an innovative solution to re-fuel its first LNG vessel, Honfleur.  In partnership with Total, industry-standard, containerised LNG will be trucked on board, then lifted into position by on-board cranes where they will replenish Honfleur’s fixed, on-board LNG storage tank. The process will be reversed when mobile tanks are empty.

Additional costs of Honfleur’s LNG systems and equipment have been partially offset by the support of the French Government “Program of Investments for the Future” (“Vehicle of the Future” sub-program) and operated by ADEME.

For Spanish operations, Brittany Ferries has signed a letter of intent with Spanish energy company Repsol for the delivery of LNG. Under the agreement between the two companies, Repsol will install quayside LNG storage facility at ports in northern Spain.  Confirmation is expected later this month. This will then be used to fuel both E-Flexer ships during their calls.

The E-Flexer class ships will be amongst the largest in Brittany Ferries’ fleet. Each will be 215 metres long with 3,000 garage lane metres for freight vehicles, and capacity for around 1,000 passengers.


*Cycle GHG Emission Study on the Use of LNG as Marine Fuel

The study, commissioned by SEA\LNG and SGMF, was conducted by thinkstep according to ISO 14040/44 standards. The report has been critically reviewed by a panel of independent academic experts

It analysed the life cycle greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions of the use of Liquefied Natural

Gas (LNG) as marine fuel compared with current and post-2020 conventional oil-based fuels. Air quality was also assessed by comparing local pollutants from the operation of the vessels using different fuels.

 The collaboration and support from a large number of SEA\LNG and SGMF member companies working across the entire fuel supply chain and engine manufacturers enabled the collection of up-to-date, quality technical data. This provided the basis for a complete life cycle analysis of the GHG intensity expressed in terms of CO2-equivalents.

The study concludes that LNG provides a significant advantage in terms of improving air quality. Beyond the benefits associated with reducing air pollutants, LNG is a viable solution to reduce GHG emissions from international shipping and its contribute to the International Maritime Organization (IMO) GHG reduction targets. However, the study also notes that methane emissions from the supply chain and engine slip need to be reduced further to maximise positive impact both in terms of air quality and GHG emissions.

 Key findings from the study:

  • The use of LNG as a marine fuel shows GHG reduction of up to 21 % compared with current oil-based marine fuels over the entire life cycle from Well-to-Wake (WtW). The benefit is highly dependent on the engine technology installed and, to a certain extent, on the type of reference fuel (distillate or residual).
  • On an engine technology basis, the WtW GHG emission reduction for gas fuelled engines compared with HFO fuelled engines are between 14 % to 21 % for 2-stroke slow speed engines, and between 7% to 15 % for 4-stroke medium speed engines.
  • On a Tank-to-Wake (TtW) basis, the combustion process for LNG as a marine fuel shows GHG benefits of up to 28 % compared with current oil-based marine fuels. On an engine technology basis, the TtW emissions reduction benefits for gas fuelled engines compared with HFO fuelled engines are between 18 to 28 % for 2-stroke slow speed engines and between 12 to 22 % for 4-stroke medium speed engines.
  • Local pollutants, such as sulphur oxides (SOX), nitrogen oxides (NOX) and particulate matter (PM), are reduced when using LNG compared with current conventional marine fuels. Due to the negligible amount of sulphur in the LNG fuel, SOX emissions are reduced close to zero. NOX emissions are reduced by up to 95 % to meet the IMO Tier III limits without NOx reduction technologies when using Otto cycle engines. Limited data on PM emissions is available, however reductions of up to 99 % are normal compared with heavy fuel oil (HFO).
  • For post-2020 oil-based marine fuels (low sulphur fuel oil (LSFO) or the use of HFO in combination with an exhaust gas cleaning system) there is no significant difference in the WtW GHG emissions compared with current oil-based fuels.



 About Brittany Ferries

In 1967 a farmer from Finistère in Brittany, Alexis Gourvennec, succeeded in bringing together a variety of organisations from the region to embark on an ambitious project: the aim was to open up the region, to improve its infrastructure and to enrich its people by turning to traditional partners such as Ireland and the UK.

In 1972 BAI (Brittany-England-Ireland) was born. The first cross-Channel link was inaugurated in January 1973, when a converted Israeli tank-carrier called Kerisnel left the port of Roscoff for Plymouth carrying trucks loaded with Breton vegetables such as cauliflowers and artichokes. The story therefore begins on 2 January 1973, 24 hours after Great Britain’s entry into the Common Market (EEC). From these humble beginnings however Brittany Ferries as the company was re-named quickly opened up to passenger transport, then became a tour operator.

Today, Brittany Ferries has established itself as the national leader in French maritime transport: an atypical leader, under private ownership, still owned by a Breton agricultural cooperative. Eighty five percent of the company’s passengers are British. Around 210,000 freight units are carried each year.

Key figures:

  • Turnover: Approximately €444.2m per year
  • Employment – Between 2400 and 3100 employees (including 1,700 seafarers), depending on the season. 360 in the UK.
  • Passengers: Between 2.5 and 2.7 million each year travelling in approximately 900,000 cars
  • Freight: 205,400 units transported annually, and one freight-only route linking Bilbao and Poole
  • Twelve ships operating services that connect France, the United Kingdom, Ireland and Spain
  • Eleven ports in total: Bilbao, Santander, Portsmouth, Poole, Plymouth, Cork, Caen, Cherbourg, Le Havre, Saint-Malo, Roscoff
  • Tourism in Europe: There were 854,000 unique visitors, staying 9.2 million bed-nights in France.


Ellis Malcolm on 02392 892 221 or 07464 980 594 or [email protected]

Christopher Jones on 02392 152 291 or 07917 540 878 or [email protected]

Nigel Wonnacott on 02392 152 273 or 07833 446 729 or [email protected]


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