Brittany Ferries is to launch a new LNG powered vessel on the Portsmouth to Caen route in 2019.
The new ship will be one of the cleanest and most environmentally friendly ships to operate in UK waters. The Portsmouth to Caen route is responsible for 70% of Brittany Ferries' total passenger volume with three daily return sailings.
LNG is predominantly made up of methane and ethane and emits less carbon dioxide that standard bunker fuel. It also produces no smoke and is free from sulphur. Nitrogen oxide emissions are also very low.
Brittany Ferries chief executive Christophe Mathieu said:
"The signing of this letter of intent with the Flensburger shipyard is a concrete step towards the construction of a new generation of Brittany Ferries ships. Despite Brexit, we remain confident in our ability to continue to grow and modernise our route network, serving both tourism and trade in the regions of western Europe."
A final contract for the 42,000 gross tonnage, 1680 passenger vessel is expected to be signed in the next few months, with construction due to start soon.