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Incorporating Clean Shipping International


Wednesday, October 10, 2018 

The UKs Wight Shipyard is currently building two lightweight ferries for Mexico, focusing on fuel efficiency and reliability.

The yard’s CEO Peter Morton said: “Not many European yards build lightweight high-speed ferries and we are concentrating on fuel savings – that is our USP, that we are really pushing build techniques to cut weight.”

The Mexican operator Ultramar has previously chosen US yards to build its ferries, but placed an order with Wight Shipyards in March 2018. Morton believed he won the tender this time because not only were US yards busy, and his company could deliver the vessels sooner, but currency exchange rates worked in the UK’s favour.

The yard said it had developed its own techniques for making the ships lighter, particularly for non-structural components, resulting in the new pair weighing in at some 20-30 tonnes less than other ferries in the fleet.

As well as weight saving, the choice of fuel-efficient MTU engines that can be optimised to run at low (60-65%) MCR will contribute to a significant saving in fuel. A further benefit of less-stressed engines is that less maintenance will be needed – an important benefit as shiprepair facilities in the home port of Cancun are very limited.

The two 37m Incat Crowther- designed ferries will each carry 450 passengers at a service speed of 20-25 knots. They are scheduled for delivery in April and July 2019.

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