Spanish companies Baleària and Shipyard Construcciones Navales del Norte (LaNaval) have confirmed their intention to build large dual-fuel ferries, announced September 2015, by signing a construction agreement that will see the first ferry operational in 2019. The Dénia-headquartered shipping company will invest EUR 175 million in the project and has an option in the coming months to build a sister ship.
The president of Baleària, Adolfo Utor, emphasized his company’s intention is to deliver to clients an unforgettable journey that offer the pleasure of travel while respecting the environment.
The new boat will be among the largest ferries in the world, with a length of 232.2 meters and a beam of 30.4 meters, besides being the first passenger ferry powered by liquefied natural gas (LNG) in the Mediterranean. The ship can reach a speed of 23 knots thanks to three dual-fuel motors, which can be used with natural gas or liquid fuel, and therefore will reduce CO2 emissions by more than 40%, NOx emissions, and eliminate emissions of sulphur and other particles, which is extremely harmful to health.
The new ferry will not only be innovative from a clean energy perspective but also for its ‘smart’ facilities for passengers. Baleària says the ‘smartship’ will offer customers smart phone or mobile phone access to the ferry and its accommodation, have tracking systems, a wide audiovisual platform, information about the entertainment and food available on board, destination information and reservations, navigation data, weather, and endless possibilities that include the option to interact with the system and connect with other passengers.
The LNG-powered ferry will have capacity for 1,600 passengers (70% of which can be accommodated in cabins and the rest in comfortable ergonomic seats) in addition to 350 vehicles.
Several other energy saving measures are being considered in addtion to the switch to cleaner burning LNG, including installation of photovoltaic panels to power all onboard services.