Britain’s first LNG-powered ferry sails to Spain

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The UK’s first LNG-powered ferry is leaving Portsmouth this weekend, on its maiden voyage to Spain. Salamanca will depart during the English night on Sunday 27 March with over 600 passengers and vehicles bound for Bilbao.

It is the first liquefied natural gas (LNG) vessel to join the fleet Brittany phrases, but it won’t be the last. By 2025, four LNG ferries will connect to Portsmouth’s homeland, including two hybrids.

“LNG-powered vessels like Salamanca are a clear statement of our commitment to the future and fleet renewal,” he said. Christophe Mathew, CEO of Brittany Ferries.

“These are cleaner vessels, which greatly reduces air quality emissions such as soot and sulfur. This is good news for port partners today, but may get greener in the coming years. Salamanca is able to operate with future fuels such as e-methane or bio-methane if they are available in size. Either one has the potential to significantly reduce the carbon footprint, as well as the clean air that LNG power brings from day one.”

Salamanca will make two round trips to Bilbao each week. It will also make a weekly return trip to Cherbourg, France. Meanwhile, it’ll run on fuel that promises a smoother, quieter ride for passengers, as well as fewer emissions than suppressing it.

Brittany Ferries services from Portsmouth began in 1976. Since then, the city has become the company’s hub in the UK, with connections to four ports in France and two in northern Spain.

Brittany Ferries will strengthen its partnership with Portsmouth next year when Salamanca’s sister ship Santoña joins the fleet. Santoña, which also runs on LNG-based fuels, will connect Portsmouth with Santander, the capital of Cantabria and the gateway to a so-called green Spain. Both the ports of Bilbao and the ports of Santander will house bunkering (refueling) stations to operate the vessels, provided by partner fuel company Repsol.

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Salamanca is one of the largest ships in the Brittany Ferries fleet. The E-Flexer-class vessel is 214.5 meters long, has ten decks and has a gross tonnage of 41,716 UMS. It can accommodate up to 1,015 passengers in 341 cabins with approximately 3 km of garage space ready to transport cars and goods. Traveling at a speed of 21 knots, Salamanca will connect Portsmouth Bilbao in approximately 28 hours.

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