Following the announcement of five ferries being converted to LNG (see ICSI News, 15th September), Spanish shipping company Baleària, is to convert another three ferries from diesel to LNG dual fuel.
The latest contracts will make us of Caterpillar and MaK solutions. Caterpillar Marine’s dealer Finanzauto will undertake the engine conversions. Work is scheduled to begin early next year.
Ettore Morace, Baleària’s General Director of Operations, said that this conversion project supports the company’s goal to reduce emissions significantly and provide clean transportation.
By using MaK DF engines, Baleària will virtually eliminate the sulfur and particulate matter in the exhaust gases, while also cutting down NOx, resulting in even lower CO2 emissions.
The three ferries – ‘Abel Matutes’, ‘Bahama Mama’, and ‘Martin i Soler’, are currently equipped with two MaK 9 M 43 C main engines. After the conversion, the vessels will operate on two MaK 9 M 46 DF engines each, which have a rated engine output of 8,685 kW. The engines are used in a control pitch propeller application with a gearbox and the conversion project will allow the engines to be powered by gas.
Caterpillar will provide DF-Engine conversion kits and all the required engine modules, including an ignition fuel oil module, engine ventilation modules, an exhaust gas ventilation module, GVU ventilation modules, and gas valve units with housing.
Included in plans to expand and renew the fleet, Baleària will also replace the existing main engines on board the high-speed ferry ‘Jaume III’ with four new Caterpillar 16-cylinder C280 propulsion engines. Each engine will deliver 5,650 kW at 1,000 rev/min.
A similar conversion was undertaken in 2017 on board the sister vessel ‘Jaume II’ resulting in a notable increase in efficiency and service, with the ship being able to reach a high transit speed.
In September, it was announced that MAN PrimeServ, the after-sales division of MAN Energy Solutions, had won a contract to convert two ropaxes, operated by Baleària, to dual-fuel operation.
Sisterships, ‘Nápoles’ and ‘Sicilia’, are currently powered by two MAN 9L48/60A main engines each, which will be converted to 9L51/60DF units to enable them to run on LNG.
The conversion of the ‘Nápoles’ is due to take place in Spain between November, 2018 and January, 2019, with the conversion of ‘Sicilia’ is to take place from October to December, 2019.
To upgrade the five ships, Baleària has received an EC grant of €11.8 mill.
The funding represents 20% of the total sum of €59 mill needed for the project , according to the European Commission.
Commenting on the grant, Adolfo Utor, Baleària President, said it is in line with the shipping company’s strategy to have the most sustainable and eco-efficient fleet in the sector in the medium term.
Baleària is also currently building two ships powered by LNG at the Visentini shipyard in Italy, the first of which is expected to be operational by February, 2019.