The world's first gas engine-powered catamaran will be Spanish
Baleària has commissioned to Armon shipyard in Gijón the high-speed worth an investment of 90 million euro
Baleària has commissioned the construction of the world's first passenger and cargo fast ferry powered by dual LNG engines at Armon shipyard in Gijón, announced President Adolfo Utor at the inaugural conference of the 57th Naval Engineering and Maritime Industry Congress currently being held in Valencia.
With a length of 125 metres and a beam of 28 metres, the new catamaran will have capacity for 1,200 passengers and 500 cars (or otherwise trucks measuring 500 metres in length and 250 cars), making it the longest and highest-capacity fast ferry catamaran in operation.
The vessel will be propelled by 4 Wärtsilä dual LNG/diesel engines delivering 8800 kW each, allowing it to attain a service speed of 35 knots, and a top speed of 40 knots, and will be equipped with 2 tanks to store the liquefied natural gas, giving it a range of 400 nautical miles.
The bow of this innovative aluminum ship has been specially designed to combine performance improvements derived from vertical bows on the side hulls, with the incorporation of wave piercing; the design complies with most demanding environmental and energy efficiency standards.
Baleària will be investing 90 million euro in the construction, with cutting scheduled to begin in December and entry into service in summer 2020.
The new vessel forms part of the smart concept being developed by Baleària, a pioneer in the application of LNG in sea transportation, comprising the application of new technologies, big data and artificial intelligence through digitisation of ships and maritime terminals, in the interests of energy efficiency and passenger care services. The public areas, with accommodation for 1,200 passengers, are innovative in terms of both their design and leisure and entertainment services; to obtain passenger comfort, vertical acceleration has been considerably reduced, resulting in more comfortable crossings, while vibrations and noise have also been significantly improved.
The Spanish company is also finalising the construction of the first 2 smart ships with LNG engines to sail the Mediterranean. The Hypatia de Alejandría is scheduled to begin operations early 2019, followed by the Marie Curie a few months later. Also, the first of 6 ships will have its engine replaced this autumn to allow it to sail under LNG propulsion. The European Union recently gave a rating of 'excellent' to the project, which will be undertaken over the course of next two years, awarding Baleària a grant of 12 million euro out of the total investment 72 million euro.
Baleària plans to have half of its fleet using clean energy by 2022 and all its fleet within 2028.
In fact the Spanish shipping line has been working with LNG-related projects since 2012; aside from being founding member of GASNAM (Spanish National Gas for Mobility Association) set up in 2013 Baleària keeps strategic agreements with Naturgy (with an exclusive LNG supply guarantee agreement running up until 2030) and with engine manufacturers Rolls-Royce and Wärtsilä.
The first LNG electricity generator on a passenger ship began operation last year on Abel Matutes and an LNG training plan has been in place since 2015 for crew members and ship inspectors.