Rolls-Royce has signed a collaboration agreement with Spanish energy company Gas Natural Fenosa to develop and install a pure-gas Bergen engine aboard the Baleària-operated ferry Abel Matutes. The contract gives Rolls-Royce its first reference for a pure-gas engine installation on a European-flagged ferry operating outside of Norwegian waters.
The 29,670 tonne ROPAX ferry, delivered in 2010 from the Hijos de J Barreras shipyard in Vigo, Spain, will use an LNG-fuelled Rolls-Royce Bergen C26:33 L6 AG auxiliary engine to generate 1560kWe of clean power, dramatically reducing emissions during port stays in Barcelona and Palma de Mallorca.
Gas Natural Fenosa and Baleària signed a collaboration agreement in October 2014, to develop the first natural gas engine for passenger vessels in Spain. The project, pioneered in Spain, will allow the development and installation of auxiliary engines in the maritime domain in order to reduce emissions and improve air quality for both urban and port environments.
Gas Natural Fenosa is a leader in the promotion of CNG/LNG as an automotive fuel in Spain and is also analysing the implementation of natural gas as a fuel for all types of ships, with the aim of reducing the environmental impact of maritime transport.
Baleària is Spain’s leading shipping company with a fleet of 20 vessels operating between the Iberian peninsula, the Balearic Islands, the Strait of Gibraltar and the Bahamas, and is committed to developing LNG as a marine fuel.
Adolfo Utor, Baleària, Group President said: “This is a very important milestone that will enable us to be pioneers in the use of natural gas on ferries and, at the same time, be more sustainable. Besides reducing CO2 emissions by 40%, it also enables us to reduce fuel costs. Abel Matutes may well find herself deployed on a route in an Emissions Control Area (ECA) sometime in the future.”
John Knudsen, Rolls-Royce, President – Commercial Marine, said: “Spain has the potential to be a significant player in the LNG market. The agreement with Gas Natural Fenosa is a giant step forward in emissions reduction in advance of the entry into force of future emissions legislation.”
Baleària and Rolls-Royce aim to carry out pre-installation work early this year, prior to the vessel’s scheduled dry docking later in the year. The new engine will be fully integrated into the electricity plant on the vessel, enabling operation with any of the on-board auxiliaries. Testing and implementation work is expected to take place towards the end of next year.
When Abel Matutes is in port, the gas engine will be connected to the distribution infrastructure ashore or the LNG tank located on-board. The ferry will also consume natural gas during approach and departure manoeuvres to generate electricity, replacing the heavy fuel oil previously used for this purpose.
Application of Rolls-Royce Bergen gas engine technology will lead to an emissions reduction and an annual saving of almost 4000 tonnes of CO2, over 60 tonnes of NOx and six tonnes of SOx.