Spanish ferry operator, Baleària has identified Algeciras, Barcelona and Palma de Mallorca as its initial three ports for LNG bunkering.
Baleària has three LNG-fuelled ropaxes under construction and has recently ordered a high-speed catamaran to be powered by four dual-fuel engines. In addition, the ferry operator has embarked on a programme to convert six of its conventionally powered ferries to dual-fuel operations.
The $102 mill, 125 m long LNG dual fuelled ropax catamaran is being built to an Incat Crowther 125 design at Astilleros Armon’s Gijon shipyard.
Passenger spaces, designed by Oliver Design of Spain, are split into dedicated zones, which offer multiple bars, a market and food court, kindergarten and an outdoor terrace. There will also be kennels fitted for passengers travelling with dogs.
The vessel will have a capacity for 500 cars and 1,200 pax. The main vehicle deck has a clearance of 4.85 m, affording 500 lane m of truck capacity.
According to Wärtsilä, she will be the largest high-speed catamaran yet built to operate on LNG as a fuel.
Wärtsilä’s ability to deliver a fully integrated package, including the engines, the waterjets, and the LNG fuel storage and supply system, together with all the related auxiliary systems, was an important option for both the owner and shipyard, the company claimed.
She will operate on four Wärtsilä 31DF dual-fuel engines, four Wärtsilä waterjets, and will be fitted with the Wärtsilä LNGPac fuel gas storage and supply system. The catamaran will have a service speed of 35 knots, and a top speed of more than 40 knots, while the storage tanks will give the ferry a range of 400 nautical miles. Wärtsilä’s equipment is scheduled for delivery to the yard in the latter half of 2019.
Meanwhile, Gibdock is due to start on the conversion of Baleària’s ropax ‘Napoles’ this month to dual-fuel operation. Her sistership – Sicilia – will be converted next year.
The ropaxes main MAN engines will be modified and a Wärtsilä LNGPac will be fitted. The whole project will take around three months per ship.
At the time of ICSI’s visit to the yard at the end of October, Baleària’s ropax ‘Martin i Soler’ was in the Panamax drydock undergoing repairs.