Revealing the innovative solutions of the LNG dual-fuel powered fast ferry
Baleària’s pioneering fast ferry Eleanor Roosevelt – claimed to be the world’s first high-speed ferry to be equipped with dual-fuel LNG engines – has been delivered.
At 123 m, it is one of the longest fast ropax catamarans operating in the world. Baleària has invested €90M (US$109M) in this fast ferry, which can carry 1,200 passengers and 450 cars.
It was officially unveiled in June in the ports of Palma, Ibiza and Dénia, where this sustainable and innovative catamaran has been operating since 1 May. Officials and representatives of stakeholder groups from the shipping company were able to visit. The three events, which were carried out with the recommended safety measures, included group visits to the company’s new ship.
"Baleària was founded to link Mallorca with Ibiza and Dénia. For more than two decades these islands have also been our home and we are proud to present this catamaran here, which is the finest example of our green and smart culture", says Baleària president Adolfo Utor.
Mr Utor emphasises the company’s commitment to and involvement with the Balearic Islands. "We have put the latest technological innovations at the service of our passengers: from fast, eco-efficient and extremely comfortable sailing to digitalised services that make the crossing an innovative experience." Finally, he points out Eleanor Roosevelt has considerably increased the number of high-speed seats available on the Dénia-Ibiza-Palma route.
Eleanor Roosevelt was built at the Armon shipyard in Gijón, in collaboration with Wärstilä, Incat Crowther, Bureau Veritas, Marintek-Sintef, Cotenaval, Oliver Design and Jorge Belloch, and was financed by CaixaBank.
Eleanor Roosevelt is the seventh Baleària ship to use natural gas, which is monitored by the measuring equipment and sensors installed on board, as part of a project co-financed by the European Commission’s CEF fund.
Raft of new technology
Incat Crowther designed the ferry. Its technical manager Dan Mace told PST, “The Incat Crowther 123 demonstrates fresh thinking in the sector with its highly customised design and raft of new technology.
“By building locally at Astilleros Armon at its Gijon shipyard in Spain, we were able to integrate the European supply chain into the design, allowing a seamless build process and closer through-life support of equipment and materials. This represents an exciting opportunity for fast ropax operators to have a quality European-built option for these types of ships.”
Incat Crowther says using LNG fuel reduces CO2 emissions by 30%, NOx by 35% and eliminates sulphur and other particles, which has an immediate effect on improving air quality and reducing greenhouse gas emissions.
Mr Mace adds, “The dual-fuel reciprocating engines and LNG tanks require greater space allocation with an overall reduced power-weight ratio. The Incat Crowther 123 was designed with the required space to accommodate this equipment on a highly efficient hull form. During the design and build phase a detailed weight control programme was implemented to deliver the ship to the required displacement.”
The use of LNG fuel combined with Incat Crowther’s latest-generation hull form offers relatively low fuel consumption for a vessel of this size, says Mr Mace. “Fuel consumption will be monitored by measurement equipment and sensors on board as part of Baleària’s control tower project that will use big data to make efficient decisions.” Additionally, the car deck includes 30 recharging points for electric vehicles.
Mr Mace says Eleanor Roosevelt includes technological innovations to make it a smart ship. Ticket information is provided electronically, including boarding credentials and seating assignment. Once aboard, there is full internet connectivity and a device-based entertainment platform, as well as the ability to monitor pets via webcams.
Explaining the LNG technology used, he says, “The LNG tanks are placed centre of each catamaran hull offset inboard from the ships side. The system meets the safety requirements of classification society Bureau Veritas’ standards for gas-fuelled ships, which incorporates the International Code of Safety for Ships using gases adopted by IMO.
“The ship was designed specifically for the operation, and completely customised to Baleària’s requirements and passenger expectations. The hull particulars and specific features such as the reverse bow shape and the operation-specific centre bow combine to provide low motions and low hull drag. A retractable centre T-foil will also be used to smooth the ride, while an isolated superstructure reduces the transmission of noise and vibration to the passenger spaces.”
Mr Mace adds, “Being one of the longest fast ropax catamarans operating in the world, extensive model tank testing was undertaken to verify the hull loadings.” The hull was designed using finite element analysis to resolve all load paths in compliance with Bureau Veritas’ strength standards.
The Incat Crowther 123 dual-fuel ropax is powered by a quartet of Wärtsilä 16V31DF main engines. Each of these engines produces 8,800 kW and drives a Wärtsilä LJX 1500 waterjet.
Speaking at Riviera Maritime Media’s Waterjets: balancing speed and efficiency webinar, Wärtsilä global sales manager waterjets David van Luijtelaar said Wärtsilä’s 31 model engine, available in diesel and dual-fuel versions, is the world’s most efficient four-stroke diesel engine in the Guinness book of records, and “gives the best of both worlds”. In comparison with standard diesel engines in high-speed craft, this engine consumes 15-20 grams per kilowatt hour less fuel, leading to over a €1M savings per year for companies with two vessels operating at 10 hours a day.
He said Balearia’s new catamaran will be able to travel 400 nautical miles without refuelling.
Interior fitout spaces developed by Oliver Design of Spain are divided into dedicated zones and offer facilities such as multiple bars, a market and a food court, kindergarten and outdoor terrace. There are also kennels to allow travellers to bring their pets, with kennel monitoring via a smart phone app, and electric vehicle charging stations.
Boarding is by way of QR codes on passengers’ mobile devices, while high-speed wifi is available throughout the vessel. As well as state-of-the-art amenities, passengers will be offered a high level of comfort.
The main vehicle deck has a height clearance of 4.85 m, affording 500 lane metres of truck capacity.
Dan Mace (Incat Crowther)
Dan Mace is technical manager, ship newbuilding. His role is to support operators to develop their vision through concept design, procurement and technical oversight of the project delivery using the latest digital shipbuilding technology. Incat Crowther has delivered projects from 12 m to 123 m in size, built at multiple global locations.
Mr Mace began his career as a naval architect and project manager, designing customised ships in the ferry, workboat, yacht and defence sectors. Areas of specialisation include electric propulsion, alternative energy sources and seakeeping.