Balearia’s 1st LNG-Fueled Ferry Begins Operation

Hypatia de Alejandría, Baleària’s new smart vessel powered by liquefied natural gas (LNG) is making its first commercial voyage between Barcelona and Palma de Mallorca. 

The newbuild arrived on January 27 at the Port of Barcelona, coming from Cantiere Navale Visentini near Venice, where the ship was constructed.

“The Hypatia of Alexandria marks an important milestone both in the history of Baleària and navigation in the Mediterranean, being the first passenger ferry powered by natural gas that crosses these waters, and which will be followed by its twin Marie Curie in the next few months,” Adolfo Utor, President of Baleària, commented.

Today, the 26,000 gross ton Hypatia de Alejandría reached Palma de Mallorca, the ship’s AIS data from MarineTraffic shows.

With a length of 186.5 meters, the Cyprus-flagged ferry has capacity for 880 people, 2,194 linear meters of cargo and 166 vehicles.

The shipping company has invested EUR 200 million in the construction of the two eco-efficient smart vessels which will be the first gas-propelled RoRo passenger ferries operating in the Mediterranean Sea, and among the largest ferries in Europe.

In addition to Hypatia de Alejandría, and its twin vessel Marie Curie, Baleària has Eleanor Roosevelt under construction at the Armon de Gijón shipyard. The ship is said to be the world’s first dual-fuel fast ferry for passenger and cargo.

What is more, the company has launched a project to convert six of its vessels to LNG operation. 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. Baleària has begun retrofitting its Nápoles ferry, and will also convert the ships 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 plans to have at least half of its fleet of ferries sailing with this clean energy within the next three years and one hundred percent of the fleet within ten years.

World Maritime News Staff

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