Baleària Presents the First Natural Gas-Propelled Ferries on the Mediterranean at FITUR

By Znatiželjan

Baleària, one of the shipping pioneers in the use of liquified natural gas (LNG) in the world, presented the first two ferries propelled by this clean energy that will be operated on the Mediterranean yesterday at the International Tourism Fair in Madrid. The two innovative vessels are being built by the Italian shipbuilder Cantiere Navale Visenti. The first of these two smart ships, which will be called Hypatia de Alejandria, is expected to begin sailing around the Balearic Islands at the beginning of 2019. This will be a new milestone for the shipping company, which is already a leader in innovation and sustainability.

Baleària Presents the First Natural Gas-Propelled Ferries on the Mediterranean at FITUR

The Chairman of Baleària, Adolfo Utor, stated that the company’s commitment to the environment “is a strategic line for the company based on the use of liquified natural gas and other clean energies as well as fleet ecoefficiency”. He also specified that LNG helps reduce carbon dioxide emissions (CO2) by 30% and nitrogen oxide (NOx) by 85% in addition to eliminating sulfur and particle emissions.

“The use of this environmentally-friendly fuel will have an immediate impact on air quality and the greenhouse effect,” said Utor. They are two sustainable ships with energy efficiency-oriented technology and intelligence as they will be equipped with photovoltaic panels, LED lighting and trim control, among other features, besides the dual fuel LNG engines (with 20,600 KW of power).

Baleària will invest 200 million euros in building these two smart ships, which will be pioneer on the Mediterranean, with identical characteristics: 186.5 meters long with a maximum speed of 24 knots and the capacity for 810 people, 2100 linear meters of cargo and 150 vehicles. “We’re working on two smart ships with digitized onboard services as added value to make our trips unique experiences,” explained Utor. These smart ships will include pet video surveillance, mobile access to onboard services and á-la-carte digital entertainment, among other services.

The main engines have already been installed in the first of the two ferries, which is expected to be delivered to the shipping company in February 2019, and the hull is nearly finished. The tanks are to be added in the next few weeks. With respect to the second one, 30% of the hull has already been built and work has begun on the systems.

Before presenting the ships, the Chairman of Baleària and the Director of Wholesale Marketing for Iberia at GAS NATURAL FENOSA, Joaquín Mendiluce, signed the first permanent and multi-system bunkering supply contract for the liquified natural gas (LGN) that will propel the ships in Spain. The contract will have an initial term of 10 years.

The Chairman of the shipping company linked Baleària’s commitment to an eco-efficient fleet with the UNESCO Sustainable Development Goals, which were signed by the shipping company, and are based on sustainable economic growth and defending the planet. “We’re committed to clean energies because we’re convinced that we can fight climate change and be competitive all at the same time,” emphasized Utor. The highest authority at the shipping company underlined that Baleària is already a pioneer in the use of liquified natural gas: the ferry Abel Matutes has been operating for a few months with the first LGN auxiliary engine in Spain while stationed at the ports of Palma and Barcelona. Moreover, he mentioned that some of their fleet’s vessels will be replaced to be propelled by this more environmentally-friendly fuel in the future.

Source: Balearia