Brittany Ferries has welcomed the start of construction of LNG bunker facilities at Bilbao.
Spanish fuel major Repsol is to develop LNG bunkering facilities ahead of the arrival of Brittany Ferries’ first LNG powered-ship ‘Salamanca’.
Work on the bunker terminal is to be completed in the first half of next year to coincide with the ship’s arrival.
‘Salamanca’ will serve UK/Spain routes and will be joined by a second LNG-powered vessel, ‘Santoña’, in 2023.
Another LNG bunker facility will be developed by Repsol in Santander where preparatory work is already underway.
The Port Authority of Santander said that it had already begun work on the second facility on the quay where the bunker station will be located.
Construction of the LNG bunker terminal in Bilbao represents an important milestone on Brittany Ferries’ journey towards fleet renewal and energy transition, the ferry company said.
It also reaffirms the long-term partnership between the French ferry firm and fuel supplier Repsol.
“This is welcome news and I applaud Repsol and our port partners in Bilbao for driving this forward,” said Christophe Mathieu, Brittany Ferries CEO. “The move to cleaner, green fuels relies on an integrated approach that connects vehicles with fuel suppliers and other important partners like ports. We look forward to the completion of works in the months to come and to the arrival of our first LNG-powered ship.”
The Bilbao terminal will be fitted with a cryogenic tank with a storage capacity of 1,000 cu m. The terminal’s flexible design will allow it to service different vessels in the future, representing an important de-carbonisation opportunity for port operations.
This project represents an investment of more than €10 mill by Repsol.
Both Spanish terminals are to be co-financed by the European Commission through the CEF- Connecting Europe Facilities Programme.
In addition to ‘Salamanca’ and ‘Santoña’, Brittany Ferries recently announced an order of two further vessels. These will be LNG-hybrid ships, replacing two of the oldest vessels in the Brittany Ferries fleet.
They will operate between France and the UK upon their delivery in 2024 and 2025.
As well as operating in battery-only mode when manoeuvring in port, the LNG-hybrids will be configured to plug-in to shoreside power, when this solution is offered.