Spain’s First Natural Gas Engine for Passenger Boats Launched

| Spain, Barcelona

Abel Matutes LNG-fuelled from March 2017Gas Natural Fenosa and passenger ferry operator Baleària Eurolínias Marítimas S.A. (Baleària) have officially launched Spain’s first natural gas engine for passenger boats, in the Port of Barcelona. Both companies have fostered the development and installation of the auxiliary engine and a 30 m3 tank of liquefied natural gas (LNG) (which can operate for one week) on the ferry Abel Matutes.

Owned by Baleària, the ferry operates a daily Barcelona-Palma de Mallorca route. The project to transform the ferry was carried out without interfering with its routes and operations.

The Chairman of Baleària, Adolfo Utor, commented that this project involved “the solid first step in Baleària’s support for natural gas”, with shipping a worldwide pioneer in its use, through the current construction of three smartships powered by LNG. Utor remarked that a commitment to the environment and the use of non-polluting energy was “a strategic decision for the company”.

Meanwhile, the general manager of Retail Business at Gas Natural Fenosa, Daniel López Jordà, stated that the project was “a major commitment from our company to innovation, with the goal of achieving better air quality, in both the city and the port. Natural gas will be a key factor in the transport sector in the coming years, owing to its clear contribution to reducing emissions and suspended particles”.

“The key element here in the Air Quality Improvement Plan for the Port of Barcelona is the adoption of LNG as an alternative transport fuel, seeing as, besides significantly reducing atmospheric emissions, it makes transport more competitive and, by extension, industry too”, said the President of the Port of Barcelona, Sixte Cambra.

The new natural gas engine is fully integrated into the ship’s electricity plant, enabling it to operate with any of the auxiliary engines, with no visual impact. The ship consumes natural gas in its manoeuvres to approach and leave the port and for its electricity production while it is docked, instead of its usual fuel. The ferry, which measures 190 metres in length, has a capacity of 900 people and 2,235 linear metres of wheeled cargo.

Application of this technology will lead to an emissions reduction and an annual saving of almost 4,000 tonnes of carbon dioxide (CO2), over 60 tonnes of nitrogen oxide (NOx) and 6 tonnes of sulphur oxide (SOx).

Gas Natural Fenosa and Baleària project is part of the CLEANPORT initiative and is being co-funded by the European Union under the CEF-Transport programme. Also taking part are the ports of Barcelona and Palma de Mallorca, and the Directorate-General of the Merchant Navy.

Gas Natural Fenosa is concentrating on natural gas uses for the maritime sector, drawing on its wealth of experience with land-based applications.

The Port of Barcelona opts for LNG

The Air Quality Improvement Plan of the Port of Barcelona is intended to make an effective reduction of polluting emissions from the port’s activity through a total of 53 initiatives. The Port is participating in various European projects to provide the port area with all the infrastructure necessary to supply LNG to ships, lorries and terminal machinery.

The first bunkering of LNG for the Abel Matutes, and also a first for the Port of Barcelona, took place in January.

(Source: Gas Natural Fenosa)

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