Future looks green for UK short sea shipping
The future is looking greener and more efficient for a UK short sea ferry operator following the launch of its first hybrid ferry.
Wightlink’s new environmentally-friendly ferry Victoria of Wight, built at Cemre shipyard in Yalova, Turkey, will become the company’s flagship on the Portsmouth-Fishbourne route.
“The launch marked a significant milestone for Wightlink in our £45million investment in future services. Our new flagship is now afloat and we look forward to welcoming her to the Solent this summer,” said John Burrows, project director.
This summer, Wightlink will embark on a programme to train 11 crews to make the most of the opportunities offered by the innovative Wärtsilä supplied hybrid battery technology to reduce noise and emissions from the vessel.
Wightlink’s £45million investment programme started with work to extend the upper car deck of Wightlink’s current flagship St Clare to increase its capacity and the arrival of Victoria of Wight completes the project.
More than 50 shipyards around the world, including the UK, were asked if they were interested in building the ferry. Wightlink received 22 tenders and shortlisted five yards – from Turkey, Spain and Croatia – before choosing Cemre on the Sea of Marmara, at Yalova, south of Istanbul.
In addition to Wärtsilä hybrid battery technology, innovative green features onboard the vessel also include recycling energy from the lifts and using surplus heat from the engines to warm passenger areas.
Wightlink said that in the coming years it is looking to phase out two other vessels the St Faith and St Cecilia, which will be replaced with more environmentally friendly ships.
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