After several months of negotiation, Baleària’s partners, Adolfo Utor (57.5% share) and the Matutes Group (42.5%), have agreed to end their over 17-year relationship as partners in the ferry operation.
Utor will now take control of 100% of the shares in the shipping company of which he was the founder.
In addition, the ropax ‘Hedy Lamarr’ (pictured) is the last of six Baleària ferries to be retrofitted to a dual-fuel power configuration.
The conversion work is being undertaken by the West Sea shipyard in Viana do Castelo, Portugal.
Her original MAN 9L48/60B engines will be replaced by dual-fuel MAN 9L51/60DF engines.
Two LNG storage tanks with a total capacity of 565 cu m will also be installed giving more than 1,400 nautical miles of operation on LNG.
At the same time, smart ship project systems will be installed, including technological improvements for a better customer experience on board -on demand digital entertainment platform, text coverage for WhatsApp during the voyages, smart TV in the cabins, a pet video surveillance system – while the accommodation will be accessible via a QR code.
Sensors will be installed on the ship to monitor fuel consumption and emissions in real time, as has already been undertaken on other ships in the fleet.
This is part of the European Union’s ‘Green and Connected Ports’ project.
When this conversion project is finished, Baleària will have nine vessels that can operate on LNG.
The investment amounts to €380 mill, some of which will come from the EU’s CEF funds.