New ferry chips away at fuel costs

A Cornish ferry owner has found a cunning new way to power one of his passenger ferries

A passenger ferry in Cornwall is to be powered by one of Britain’s greatest gastronomic delights – chips!

The engine of the new Cygnus boat has been adapted to run on biodiesel made from used chip fat to make the 10-minute journey between Place and St Mawes, on the Roseland Peninsula.

Cornwall Ferries owner Tim Light told the BBC that the ferry was performing as well as before on the “chippy tea” but that it was subsequently much cheaper to run the service.

“With fuel costs so high we’re going to save money and if we can save money and in a small way reduce carbon emissions then so much the better,” he said.

“We rather like the idea of passengers having their chips, then having their trips,” he said.

The used fat is collected from two local hotels and turned into biofuel on Mr Light’s organic farm. He is considering adding rose petals to the mix to “make it smell a bit better and bit less like chips”, he added.

The adapted engine will undergo a year-long trial and if it is successful more boats may be converted in the fleet.