Northern Ireland news

Zero-emission commuter ferry service to run between Belfast and Bangor

 The pilot service will run from Bangor Marina to Belfast’s Titanic Quarter with an expected journey time of around 30 minutes
Rebecca Black, PA

A zero-emission ferry service is set to start running between Bangor and Belfast.

Condor Ferries has joined the Belfast Maritime Consortium with plans to operate “the world’s most advanced zero-emission commuter ferry service”.

The service, set to start in 2024, is to be a pilot scheme for fast passenger ferries currently under development by the consortium, led by Artemis Technologies.

The vessels will be powered by the transformative Artemis eFoiler enabling them to fly above the water, allowing for a comfortable ride, producing minimal wake at high-speed, while using up to 90% less energy than some conventional ferries.

The pilot service will run from Bangor Marina to Belfast’s Titanic Quarter with an expected journey time of around 30 minutes.

Founder of Artemis Technologies Dr Iain Percy said it is “another milestone on our journey towards leading the decarbonisation of maritime”.

“With vast experience operating commercial routes, Condor Ferries is well placed to run the inaugural service for the first commuter ferry to be produced at our manufacturing facility in Belfast,” he said.

“Working alongside our partners in Belfast City Council, Ards and North Down Borough Council, Belfast Harbour and Power NI, the pilot scheme will give us a better understanding of the needs of ferry operators and local authorities from a vessel design, usage and infrastructure perspective.

“Belfast will get a glimpse of the future when the pilot service commences operation, but it is just the beginning. We are already receiving interest from around the globe as governments and cities across the world seek sustainable transport alternatives that balance the requirement for people to continue to move around with the need to reduce carbon emissions.”

John Napton, Condor Ferries’ CEO, added: “We are always looking to the future and this includes exploring ways of reducing our carbon emissions.

“As an experienced commercial ferry company we are, therefore, happy to join the consortium and help to develop this concept into an operational mode of transport.”

The Belfast Maritime Consortium, which includes Belfast City Council and Ards and North Down Borough Council, as well as Queen’s and Ulster Universities, was awarded a grant of £33 million by UKRI’s flagship Strength in Places Fund for the £60m project.

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