Mediterranean shipping group Baleària is converting its entire fleet of ferries to LNG, beginning this month with the installation of a new engine in Napoles. Built in 2002, 186-m Napoles has a speed of 23 knots with capacity for 950 people and 75 vehicles.
Funded to the tune of €11.8M (US$13M) – 20% of the total cost of the switch to LNG – by the European Commission, all of Baleària’s five ferries will be progressively equipped with new LNG engines.
“Our medium-term goal is to become the shipping company with the most sustainable and eco-efficient fleet in the sector,” explained Baleària chairman Adolfo Utor.
As well as Napoles, Abel Matutes, Sicilia, Bahama Mama and Martin I Soler will also be converted. According to the group’s calculations, LNG propulsion will reduce CO2 emissions by more than 45,000 tonnes a year, NOx emissions by about 4,400 tonnes and sulphur and particle emissions will be completely eliminated.
Baleària is also waiting on the delivery of the first of two LNG-driven ‘smartships’ under construction at Italy’s Visentini yard, due to begin operations in late 2018, and on the arrival of a cruise ferry being built by the LaNaval yard.
At 186 m in length, the first two ferries will have capacity for 810 people and 150 cars and will be powered by dual gas engines. According to Baleària, the LNG-powered cruise ferry will be the biggest to operate on the Mediterranean and one of the largest in the world.