Birds Eye View of Honfleur

Powering research on LNG and particulate emissions

LNG-powered ships promise less carbon dioxide output and far better air quality in ports. For example, our technical team estimates a 46% CO2 reduction per passenger on long-haul routes, when Salamanca and Santoña join the fleet. In addition, sulphur dioxide and nitrogen dioxide will be cut drastically.


Far fewer particulate emissions are another air quality benefit of using this cleaner-burning fuel. Estimates suggest these could be cut by at least 95%. But to help validate this figure - and to create an emissions monitoring methodology based on real-world data - we have agreed to work with the agency ADEME in France, on a project led by école d’ingénieurs ESTACA. Monitoring equipment will be installed in Honfleur’s funnel, for up to a week when in operation. When validated, this data could serve as a benchmark for all type of ship, powered by LNG.


There follows a transcript from an interview in Mer & Marine last week which explains a little more:



Honfleur image


Ademe wants to measure particulate emissions generated by maritime transport. A team from the Estaca Engineering School will carry out tests on board the boats of Penn ar Bed and Brittany Ferries. Benoît Sagot, teacher-researcher, details the project.


You have been selected by the Ademe to measure the emissions generated by maritime transport. How will you operate?


We will carry out measurements directly in ships funnels. Two shipowners have agreed to welcome us: Penn ar Bed and Brittany Ferries. We will work on board the Fromveur II, which runs between Brest and Ushant; the Enez Sun, between Audierne and Sein, and the Honfleur, Brittany Ferries next cruise ferry.


What is the objective?


The idea is first to develop a system of reliable and robust measurement methodologies that can be replicated on other vessels. We are starting from scratch. The first tests will take place in spring 2020. Our project is spread over three years. This will allow us to take measurements in different weather conditions.


We will board different boats: those of the Penn ar Bed are powered by diesel fuel and perform short rotations with many manoeuvres, while the Honfleur will have the specific characteristics of being powered by LNG (liquefied natural gas).  This fuel allows for a better combustion process and reduces polluting emissions. In the first tests, we will monitor the addition of additives to diesel fuel and see what impact this has on emissions. On board Brittany Ferries Honfleur, the benefits of LNG, as a transitional fuel, will be measured.


How was your project received?


Our work is closely followed by the Chantiers de l'Atlantique, which have joined the consortium (*). They recognise the need for cleaner ships. Our project has been approved by the Brittany-Atlantic Sea Pole. We also met the crew of Fromveur II and discussed how we would work together so as not to disturb passengers and manoeuvres. We are also in contact with Honfleur’s naval architect. A hatch will be installed on the ferry so that we can access the exhaust duct.


Why focus on Brittany when pollution from ships operating in the Mediterranean is really in the spotlight?


There is a big problem with ships burning sulphur-laden fuels. It is not easy to find shipowners who are willing to welcome us. But the methodology we will develop will then be applicable to these ships.


* The consortium includes Estaca and IMT Atlantique engineering schools, shipowners Penn ar Bed and Brittany Ferries, companies, Eco Gas, Chantiers de l'Atlantique, Man Energy Service





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