Ferry Business - Spring/Summer 2019

99 run on electric power for around 10 nautical miles, through the archipelago and out into open sea. In step three, battery capacity could be further expanded to enable the vessel to operate for around 50 nautical miles – the distance between Gothenburg and Frederikshavn. What game-changing technologies for the future are you particularly interested in pursuing, and how do you expect them to improve your operations? Mathieu: We know that LNG is an interim technology because it still involves burning fossil fuels, so we’re looking for a long- term solution. We have several projects in progress with CEA – the French nuclear research agency, which has expertise in using fuel cell technology. Fuel cells powered by hydrogen, or another source, could offer a sustainable propulsion solution for the long term. Consequently, while I’m delighted that we’re taking a lead with LNG-powered Honfleur, I also fully support this important research. Although we must make immediate changes for today, it’s just as important to work hard to find the solutions for tomorrow. Mark Collins: We developed a Clean Technology Adoption Plan that is leading us toward our next major vessel programme. Four to six new large ships will feature very large energy storage systems, which will allow them to use electric power for in-port operations and when they are arriving in or departing from ports. Our goal is ultra-clean emissions with ultra-low fuel consumption. Over the next 12 years, we anticipate investing CAN$3.9 billion (US$2.9 billion) in capital assets – the largest capital plan in the history of our company. Our plan will help to ensure a sustainable, future-ready, efficient marine transportation system which takes into account the energy transition to a lower carbon future. In the long term, we aim to move from fossil fuels to greener sources. Fran Collins: Shipping is an industry that is ripe for the adoption of new technology and alternative options, but given the nature of its business, it is essential that these are implemented in a way that gives customers certainty around service and price. Red Funnel is greatly interested in the future of propulsion and the options that are being explored to support an industry that currently relies heavily on fossil fuels. I sit on the UK Government’s Clean Maritime Council and the opportunity to be involved in the future strategy will be valuable as we start the early planning for replacing our vehicle ferries in future. Mårtensson: A big focus area for us is digitalisation. Artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning is a big game-changer for us from a commercial perspective, but also very important from a sustainability perspective. Just recently we have started a project testing AI to support the fantastic crew we have onboard. The system combines historical data with actual conditions, such as weather, stowage and timetable, to help reduce fuel consumption and give better decision support to the bridge officers. BC Ferries, Brittany Ferries, Red Funnel and Stena Line are just some of the many ferry companies around the world that are working hard to mitigate the impact of their ships on the environment. In fact, the number of initiatives across the industry is quite astounding, particularly because they have the potential to result in a long-lasting positive outcome for the operators, customers and the planet alike. For operators, these sustainability issues will deliver cost efficiencies that add to their bottom line. They will also attract business from green-minded customers who are taking notice of organisations that are making a real effort to improve their eco footprint. There is no doubt the industry has started to get its sustainability act together and it is encouraging to see that there is a lot more innovation planned for the future. C&F Stena Line is part-way through a trial that will eventually lead to Stena Jutlandica sailing for 50 nautical miles on battery power