The Caronte & Tourist Group (C&T) has taken delivery of Elio, its double-ended dual-fuel Ro-Ro Pax ferry. Although touted as the first ferry to sail the Mediterranean using Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG), a marine fuel with a very low environmental impact, LNG bunker infrastructure is yet to become available.
The delivery ceremony was celebrated in Messina (Italy), organised by Gruppo Caronte & Tourist in the framework of the activity promoted by the Italian Ministry of Transport (MIT) within the GAINN4MOS project.
As one of the principal milestones of the GAINN4MOS project the MIT has coordinated the elaboration of the basic and detailed engineering studies of a small ropax LNG powered ferry of Caronte & Tourist SpA. The studies have included also all those new aspects that have to be adapted, improved and fine-tuned according to the use of LNG as fuel (such as skills and training needs). After completing the engineering studies, the prototype of this small LNG Ro-pax ship has been built in Sefine shipyard and was delivered on 22nd October 2018. This ship will be piloted in real life operations in the Strait of Messina, linking Sicily and Italy mainland.
This vessel is a small RO-RO passenger vessel, owned by Caronte and Tourist, a double ended 7 decks ferry designed to operate in EU Class D areas able to carry passengers, private cars, trucks and trailers. The main dimensions (LxBxT) of the ship are 133.6 x 21.5 x 4.5 and she has maximum capacity for 290 private cars, 1500 people and 35 trucks. The main engines are dual-fuel engines (6L34DF) designed by Wartsila with a total power of 9,000 kW. The LNG tanks capacity is about 150 cubic meters. Service and maximum speeds are respectively 12.5 and 15 knots.
The ship is Italian flagged and RINA classed with Gas Fuelled notation (IGF compliant).
This is only one of the milestones of the GAINN4MOS action, funded by the Connecting Europe Facility Programme, which aims to improve the Motorways of the Sea network in 6 Member States (Spain, France, Croatia, Italy, Portugal and Slovenia) by carrying out engineering studies on ship retrofitting and/or newbuildings, port LNG infrastructures, bunkering stations throughout pilot projects.
The eight thousand ton Elio has a loading capacity double compared to the Telepass, the current flagship of C&T, will connect Messina to Villa San Giovanni.
C&T is already planning a program thanks to which the Elio and other new ships planned can be powered by LNG using biogas produced in Sicily. The realisation of this plan will provide maximum environmental protection given the use of renewable natural gas will upgrade the vessel’s environmental footprint to virtually carbon neutral. C&T sees that as a major advantage for the tourist market.
Eni Spa, the Ministry of Economic Development, the Sicilian Region and the Municipality of Gela are discussing the potential for a site at Gila to accommodate an LNG storage facility.
Launched at Sefine Shipyard in Yalova (Turkey), the Elio is the first vessel built by Sefine for Italy.
Length Overall: 133,6 meters
Beam Moulded: 21,5 meters
Draught Maximum: 4,5 meters
Personal Cars, Class D/B: 290/226 PCU
Maximum Passenger Capacity, Summer/Winter: 1500/900
Main Propulsion Gensets: 3 x Wärtsilä 6L34DF 3000 kW
Main Thrusters: 2 x Rolls Royce AZIPULL100 CP 2500 kW
Related articles: Ten LNG-Fueled Ferries Planned for Strait of Messina