The new vessel, recently launched from the shipyard, will operate the Bilbao-Portsmouth freight and passenger service from 27 March, and will be more energy efficient and environmentally friendly.
Brittany Ferries’ LNG-powered vessel Salamanca called at the port of Bilbao for the first time this Friday, on a technical stopover as part of its maiden voyage since leaving a Chinese shipyard on 10 December. The Salamanca arrived in Europe via the Suez Canal after travelling 10,322 nautical miles before arriving at what will be its home port.
After some time in dry dock for final touches and full crew training, the vessel will enter service on 27 March, carrying passengers and cargo on the route between Bilbao and the English port of Portsmouth.
The Salamanca is 215 metres long, has 2.723 km of lane space for passengers and lorries and is equipped to accommodate 1,100 passengers and crew. It is also Brittany Ferries’ first LNG-powered vessel, to be joined in 2023 by the Santoña. By using LNG as fuel, it emits virtually no sulphur dioxide, nitrogen dioxide or particulates after combustion. In addition, as LNG burns more efficiently than diesel, carbon dioxide (CO₂) emissions are reduced by approximately 25%.
In preparation for its arrival, the Port Authority has undertaken refurbishment work at the berth, and Repsol is building a quayside LNG filling station. These two projects feature amongst several other initiatives and improvements being undertaken to make the port of Bilbao more efficient and sustainable. These include the drawing up of an energy transition plan scheduled to be rolled out in the first quarter of this year.