The head office is in Norway, but subsidiary LMG Marin France is based in Toulouse in SW France. Both specialise in LNG-powered ferries.The name is Norwegian, but the accent is French, or, more precisely, from Toulouse. “The story begins in Bergen where I worked in the head office of engineering and naval architecture firm LMG Marin. After a few years, I wanted to go back to France. The company suggested that I open a French subsidiary and continue to work for them. That’s how LMG Marin France was born.” Vincent Rudelle manages the company that he set up in February 2013. He now has six employees, all naval architects. “We belong to the LMG Marin group and work closely with the head office in Norway. However, we manage our own projects independently.” © LMG MARIN (LMG MARIN) LMG Marin France specialises in ferries. “This is also one of our head office’s lines of business along with naval shipbuilding and offshore oil & gas.” Ferries are omnipresent in Norway, with hundreds criss-crossing the countless fjords of the south and west coasts. The numbers mean that there are many opportunities to test new ideas in naval architecture.In 2004, the Norwegian government issued a call for tenders for the construction of a series of five LNG-powered ferries for the Bergen-Stavanger route. “That was four years after the completion of the Glutra, the first ferry powered by liquefied natural gas,” recalled Vincent. LMG Marin put in a bid and won the contract. “From an engineering perspective it was an exciting time. Few equipment manufacturers had LNG products in their catalogues and the yards had no experience with the new technology. The other interesting aspect was that we had lengthy exchanges with the operators to reassure them about the new propulsion system.” © LMG MARIN (LMG MARIN) © LMG MARIN (LMG MARIN) The Bergensfjord ferries are 130 metres long, can carry 212 vehicles and are powered by Rolls-Royce engines. The first one left Aker’s Langsten yard in 2006. Today the yard belongs to Vard. “From then on, the calls for tenders for similar ships came thick and fast. The LNG transition was under way.” In 2008, LMG Marin won a new contract for a series of four Moldefjord ferries for use on the Molde and Trondheim fjords. These vessels are 123 metres long and can carry 130 vehicles. They were built by the Remontowa yard in Gdansk, Poland. In 2010, LMG oversaw the conversion of the Tresfjord to LNG. Next came ferries serving the Lofoten archipelago. “We also had these four 93-m ropax ferries built at the Remontowa yard. That was in 2012.” LMG Marin steadily built up its expertise and, in the process, made a name for itself. “Norwegian ferries tend to be replaced fairly often. Which is fine, but we also want to export our know-how.” © LMG MARIN (LMG MARIN) This is where LMG Marin France comes in. The Toulouse-based subsidiary’s first project was to design four ferries for the Tallinn port authority in Estonia. “We signed the contract in October 2014, with delivery scheduled for late 2016 or early 2017.” These double-ended Ice Class 1A vessels will ply a short route between Tallinn and an island to the west of the city. They are 114 metres long for a beam of 19.2 metres and will carry 700 passengers and 150 vehicles or ten or twelve trucks. Two are being built by the Sefine yard in Turkey and two by the Remontowa yard in Poland. “All are being built with conventional diesel propulsion, but the design anticipates conversion to LNG. Space has been allocated for a 100-cubic-metre tank and a hole will be cut in the deck to install it.” © LMG MARIN (LMG MARIN) But that’s not all. LMG Marin France continues to win new orders for innovative passenger vessels. One example. After studies lasting several months investigating various propulsion systems, the company won a contract to build an LNG-powered ferry for Mediterranean operator Caronte. This vessel will be 135 metres long and will carry 290 vehicles on two decks plus 1,500 passengers. It will ply the Strait of Messina between Sicily and southern Italy.More recently, LMG Marin and the Remontowa yard won a contract awarded by Transport for London (TfL) to design and build two new-generation hybrid ferries for the Thames crossing service at Woolwich to the east of the city. These double-ended vessels will use hybrid diesel-electric propulsion and carry 150 passengers and around 45 vehicles. The lithium-ion battery pack will help to optimise diesel fuel consumption by allowing the engines to run at a constant speed. Greenhouse gas emissions will be further reduced by using ultra-low-sulphur fuel and incorporating both a selective catalytic reduction, or SCR, exhaust system and diesel particle filters. Electricity consumption will be optimised by using all-LED lighting. © LMG MARIN (LMG MARIN) “We will continue to work closely with our head office in Norway while prospecting for new contracts, primarily for passenger vessels between 150 and 170 metres, where we already have a couple of projects in our sights,” said Vincent Rudelle in conclusion. The company is committed to constant innovation and recently invested in sophisticated CFD (computational fluid dynamics) software. LMG Marin France will also continue to grow. Right now we are looking for two naval architects to join our team in Toulouse.