Brittany Ferries says its Saint-Malo vessel will be the world’s largest hybrid ship

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Brittany Ferries has said that its new Saint-Malo ferry will be the world’s largest hybrid ship when it starts operating in under 3 years. The vessels' batteries will sport a capacity of 11.5 MWh, which the ferry operator says is approximately double that typically used for hybrid propulsion in marine vessels.

Brittany Ferries says its Saint-Malo vessel will be the world’s largest hybrid ship
Photo: Brittany Ferries press materials

In a bid to improve efficiency further, the ferry will integrate multiple systems allowing real-time, energy optimisation while sailing. According to engine and battery supplier Wärtsilä, the optimised energy efficiency, hybrid power and shore-side plug-in has the potential to yield an improvement of up to 15 per cent on greenhouse gas emissions compared with diesel propulsion.

In total, StenaRoRo are constructing three hybrid ships, supplied with Wärtsilä hybrid technology. Two were specified by Brittany Ferries, with recently named Saint-Malo (destined for the St Malo – Portsmouth route) scheduled for delivery in 2024. Shortly thereafter, an as-yet-unnamed hybrid will join the fleet, running the company’s most popular Caen-Portsmouth route.

The hybrids will replace Bretagne and Normandie respectively, two of the longest serving vessels in the family.

Commenting on the announcement, Christophe Mathieu, CEO of Brittany Ferries, said:

“Brittany Ferries is proud to be taking a lead in sustainable shipping, working with our partners to bring cleaner vessels to the regions in which we operate. Hybrid technology continues to move our fleet renewal programme forward and will follow the introduction of two LNG-powered ships. From day one of operation, ports like St Malo in France and Portsmouth in the UK will benefit. Shore-side power capability means further benefits will be realised, as investment by ports in plug-in infrastructure allows.”

The ships are the latest in a series of e-Flexer class vessels to be specified by, and chartered to Brittany Ferries, from Stena RoRo.

Per Westling, MD StenaRoRo, added:

“Stena wants to be a frontrunner in decarbonising our fleet and, together with our partners, pushing developments towards zero emission operations. Hybridisation allows our vessels to be highly flexible as we adapt to future technology developments, including green fuels, fuel cells, bigger batteries, and solar or wind supported propulsion.”

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