Balearia LNG close to completion. 72 million euro for retrofitting
17 Mar 2020 - ConferenzaGNL
The Spanish shipping company Baleària’s LNG conversion strategy continues rapidly, based on the transformation of six of its ferries and the construction of three new ones, two of which are already sailing, built at the Italian shipyard Visentini and a third super fast catamaran ferry under construction at the Spanish shipyard Armon Gijón. The programme, which started in 2017, is on schedule.
The process of converting existing ships to LNG has so far involved the Naples and Abel Matutes, which are already operational; the two ships undergoing conversion are the Bahama Mama, which should complete its retrofit and resume sailing on the Barcelona-Ibiza route by the end of this March, and Sicily, which has just gone to the shipyard and should be back in service by June this year; the other two will be the Martin i Soler and the Hedy Lamarr, which should return to sailing by 2020.
Work on the transformation of Sicily, which is 186 metres long with a capacity of 950 passengers, is under way at the Portuguese shipyard West Sea in Viana do Castelo (formerly Estaleiros Navais) of the Martifer Group. The ship’s engines and engine room will be equipped for the propulsion of LNG engines as the main fuel and diesel as a possible substitute for Rolls Royce and Wärtsilä with a cryogenic tank with a capacity of 425 cubic metres of liquefied natural gas, capable of navigating 1,100 miles.
The Bahama Mama and Sicily are also the first two ships to be equipped with sensors to measure consumption and emissions in real time. The total investment of the six retrofit operations will amount to approximately €72 million, 20 per cent of which will be financed through funds from the European Union’s Connecting Europe Facility (CEF).
The Eleanor Roosevelt, which will be the largest and fastest catamaran ever, is in the final phase of the works, with commissioning expected by summer 2020. The vessel is 125 meters long and is equipped with four high-efficiency Wärtsilä 31DF dual-fuel engines, four Wärtsilä water jets and the Wärtsilä LNGPac fuel gas storage and supply system.
The ferry will be able to carry 1200 passengers and 500 cars or trucks covering a length of 500 meters plus 250 cars. It will have a service speed of 35 knots and a maximum speed of over 40 knots. The LNG storage tanks offer the ferry a range of 400 nautical miles.
Finally, at the end of 2019 Balearia started up an LNG bunkering plant in the port of Valencia using the Multi Truck to Ship (MTTS) system and also carried out the first bunkering in the port of Huelva with the same system. The LNG is supplied by Naturgy (a subsidiary of Gas Natural SDG, formerly Gas Natural Fenosa), with which Balearia reached a ten-year supply agreement in January 2018.