Spanish ferry operator Baleària has developed a plan to invest up to EUR 450 million (USD 478.4 million) into new vessels and smart terminals over the next five years.
In an effort to gain competitiveness, the company said that the investment would go into the construction three new liquefied natural gas-powered ships, one being built at compatriot LaNaval Shipyard and two ordered from Italian shipbuilder Cantiere Navale di Visentini, as well as the purchase of other units and the modernization of the existing ships.
The investment plan would also include the construction of new smart terminals for passengers in Barcelona, Valencia and Palma, as well as opening up to new traffic, according to Adolfo Utor, President of Baleària.
At the end of the fiscal year, Baleària’s turnover stood at EUR 329.5 million, representing an increase of 13% over the previous year, mainly due to the increase in offer with new ships and lines.
The company said that it transported 10% more passengers, vehicles and ro-ro cargo in 2016 than in the previous year, reaching 3.5 million passengers, 750,000 vehicles and more than 5 million linear meters of goods on all Spanish routes and international routes, including United States-Bahamas, Morocco and Algeria.
Earlier this year, Baleària entered into an agreement with Cantiere Navale di Visentini for the construction of two 186.5-meter-long ferries scheduled for delivery by the end of 2018.
The company said that the new ships, ordered under a EUR 200 million worth deal, will be capable of carrying up to 810 passengers, 2,180 linear meters of cargo and 150 cars.
The ferries will use LNG and other clean energies to reduce CO2 and NOx emissions by more than 40%, according to Baleària.