Spanish ferry company Baleària has announced the construction of a fast ferry for passenger and cargo powered by dual-fuel LNG engines, described as the world’s first such ship.
The Incat Crowther 125 design is a new class of ferry, being the first to use dual-fuel reciprocating engines and will also be one of the largest fast catamarans in service once it is delivered in summer 2020.
The ship will be constructed by Spanish builder Astilleros Armon at the Gijon shipyard, with aluminum cutting scheduled for next December.
With a length of 125 meters and a beam of 28 meters, the new catamaran will have capacity of 1,200 passengers and 500 cars.
The dual-fuel RoPax will be powered by a quartet of Wartsila 16V31DF main engines of 8,800kW each, which will allow the ship to reach a service speed of 35 knots and a maximum speed of more than 40 knots.
Motions have been reduced with the latest iteration of Incat Crowther’s hull form, coupled with an operation-specific center bow design. A retractable centre T-foil will also be used to smooth the ride, whilst an isolated superstructure reduces the transmission of noise and vibration to the passenger spaces.
The newbuilding, worth EUR 90 million (around USD 102.2 million), is part of the smart maritime concept developed by Baleària, consisting of the application of new technologies, Big Data and artificial intelligence.
Baleària is also introducing LNG powerplants to its fleet, pioneering agreements with fuel and machinery suppliers.
The company is finalizing the construction of the first two smart ships with LNG engines that will sail in the Mediterranean. As informed, the Hypatia of Alexandria is planned to start operating at the beginning of next year and the Marie Curie a few months later.
In addition, this autumn, the first of a total of five vessels in the fleet will be refitted to run on LNG. This project, which will be carried out over the next two years, recently received a grant of close to EUR 12 million from the EU.
As World Maritime News earlier reported, the first two ferries will be converted to LNG operation by MAN PrimeServ. The remaining three ships will be converted to LNG dual fuel using Caterpillar and MaK solutions, Caterpillar informed.