Baleària builds world’s 1st dual-fuel fast ferry

Eleanor Roosevelt smart ferry from Baleària has already begun to take shape at the Armón shipyard. What will be the first high-speed passenger ship to sail powered by liquefied natural gas (LNG) is progressing in its construction process in the workshops of the company in Gijón, Spain.

Recently, the shipyard laid the keel for the new high-speed catamaran of the Incat Crowther 125 design.

The construction of the ship is expected to be completed in spring 2020, according to Baleària.

The construction of this fast ferry is a pioneering project worldwide, which Baleària leads together with the Armon shipyards, and which has outstanding international partners, such as Wärstilä, Incat Crowther or Marintek, and national ones. The ship interiors will be designed by the Oliver Design company, which has already worked on projects for other Baleària ships, the most recent being the four eco fast ferries that connect Ibiza and Formentera.

The Eleanor Roosvelt has a length of 123 meters by 28 of beam. It should be noted that it will have capacity for 1,200 passengers and a warehouse that can hold up to 500 linear meters of cargo and 250 cars, or alternatively 450 cars.

As for the engines, the new vessel will incorporate four dual GN/GO from Wärtsilä, with a power of 8,800 kW each, plus four waterjet for propulsion, as well as two gas generators and two diesel generators for power generation, which together will allow it to reach a service speed of 35 knots, with a maximum speed exceeding 40 knots.

Baleària has been working on LNG-related projects since 2012 and is a founding member of the Iberian Association of Natural Gas for Mobility (GASNAM).

The shipping company has invested EUR 200 million in the construction of the two eco-efficient smart vessels which will become the first gas-propelled RoRo passenger ferries operating in the Mediterranean Sea, and among the largest ferries in Europe. The first ship, Hypatia de Alejandría, made its first commercial voyage between Barcelona and Palma de Mallorca earlier this year. The second newbuild, Marie Curie, was floated out in November 2018 and will join the company’s fleet in the coming months, according to Baleària.

What is more, the company has launched a project to convert six of its vessels to LNG operation. The total investment in this retrofit is EUR 72 million, with 20% funded by European Union Connecting Europe Facility (CEF). Baleària has completed the retrofit of its Nápoles ferry which will soon be followed by the second vessel, Abel Matutes.

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