Spanish ferry company Baleària has begun retrofitting its Nápoles ferry, the first of the company’s six ships to be converted to liquified natural gas (LNG) operation.
The ferry arrived at the Gibraltar Gibdock shipyards yesterday where they will modify the engines and install an LNG tank.
The work is expected to be completed by February 15, 2019.
The ship will get dual-fuel LNG and diesel engines produced by MAN Energy Solutions. With this change in fuel, the ferry Nápoles is expected to reduce its CO2 emissions by 9,113.45 tons and NOx emissions by 871.37 tons a year as well as fully eliminate all sulphur and particle emissions. The annual carbon dioxide reduction will equal the emissions of 6,000 passenger cars, as explained by Baleària.
Moreover, a Wärtsilä tank will be installed in the ship to be able to store up to 440 cubic meters of LNG so the ship may be autonomous for up to 1,200 miles. The gas pipes will be supplied by Cryospain while the engineering project has been designed by Cotenaval.
Plans are also underway to retrofit its twin ship Sicilia in the near future, the company said.
The total investment in this retrofit is EUR 72 million with 20% funded by European Union Connecting Europe Facility (CEF) after the project involving retrofitting of five of the fleet’s ships was classified as excellent. Therefore, Baleària not only has plans to switch the engines in the Nápoles but also in the ferries Abel Matutes, Sicilia, Bahama Mama and Martín i Soler as well as another ferry without help from CEF funds by the end of 2021.
Baleària is also currently completing the construction of the first two smart ships with LNG engines to sail the Mediterranean — the Hypatia de Alejandría will begin operating at the beginning of 2019 and the Marie Curie a few months afterwards. In addition, the company recently unveiled the construction of a fast ferry for passengers and cargo powered by dual-fuel LNG engines.
“The lower pollution, higher profitability axiom really works with this fuel,” Adolfo Utor, Chairman of Baleària, commented.
“We plan to have at least half of our fleet of ferries sailing with this clean energy within the next three years and reach one hundred percent of the fleet within ten years,” he added.