Saint-Malo, touted to be the largest hybrid ship in the world, has reportedly planned to ferry passengers between France and the UK over the next few years.
Operator Brittany Ferries has stated that the vessel would be powered by a battery with a capacity of 11.5 megawatt-hours. This battery capacity is double the one generally used for hybrid marine vessels.
The French shipping company has asserted that the ship will be delivered by 2024. Shortly after, a second hybrid ship will join the fleet, ferrying between Caen and Portsmouth.
For the uninitiated, hybrid ships run on battery power, liquefied natural gas, or a combination of both.
Brittany Ferries has remarked that Stena RoRo is constructing three hybrid vessels using hybrid technology from Finland-based company Wärtsilä.
Hakan Agnevall, Chief Executive Officer of Wärtsilä, has commented that a battery of this size will enable marine vessels to run at full power, using all thrusters and both propellers to operate emissions-free even in bad weather conditions.
Like other types of transportation, marine-based mobility has a significant environmental footprint. According to the Brussels-based campaign group Transport & Environment, ships are a substantial source of emissions and oil consumption across the EU.
Furthermore, the International Energy Agency stated that in 2020, global shipping was responsible for close to 2% of the Earth’s carbon dioxide emissions related to energy.
With growing concerns around sustainability, major businesses and economies worldwide are seeking to mitigate emissions and achieve net-zero goals. Thus, the shipping industry will have to find new methods of limiting the environmental footprint of its business which is an uphill task.
Earlier in 2022, Moller-Maersk’s CEO Soren Skou pointed out that although a transition to green fuels would prove costly to the industry, it is important to focus on long-term gain instead of short-term pain.
Skou’s opinion came a day after the company pledged to meet net-zero emissions by 2040.