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Balearia launches first of four bunker-saving 'eco fast' ferries

03 Nov 2017 12:50 GMT

President, Adolfo Utor, lauds energy efficiency of new ships.



Ferry operator Balearia on Friday launched its first bunker-saving 'eco fast ferry' at the Gondan shipyard in Asturias, Spain.

The new ferry, which is the first in a series of four ships, is due to be incorporated into the company's fleet next month, when it will operate between the islands of Ibiza and Formentera.

Balearia's president, Adolfo Utor, lauded the energy efficiency of the new ships "for their design and propulsion system, the use of renewable energies and the materials used".

The fuel-saving ships feature a wave-piercing bow and photovoltaic solar panels, supplying energy on board. They will also be powered by state-of-the-art engines designed to minimize emissions.

Furthermore, the hull is made of polyester reinforced with fiberglass, which does not require the application of paint, and consequently is more ecological.

"The four eco fast ferries will be the most eco-efficient in their category", Utor said.

In line with Balearia's commitment to the environment, the Spanish shipping firm has decided to name the ferries after four classical elements in nature: Eco AQUA, Eco TERRA, Eco AIRE and Eco LUX.

Balearia says the other new eco fast ferries will be incorporated into the company's fleeet "over the next few months".

As previously reported by Bunker Index, in February, Balearia ordered two new, dual-fuel, gas-powered ferries to be built at the Cantiere Navale Visentini shipyard in Italy. The vessels are expected to be operational by the end of 2018.

It brings Balearia's total number of LNG-fuelled ferries to four. Last year, the Spanish firm ordered its first newbuild LNG-powered ro-ro ferry from Construcciones Navales del Norte SL (LaNaval) shipyard in Sestao, Spain. Wartsila is to carry out the design and supply of the LNG power and propulsion installation. When it enters into regular service in 2019, it is set to be the largest ferry in operation in the Mediterranean.

Balearia's other LNG-fuelled ferry, the 2010-built Abel Matutes, has already been retrofitted with a 30-cubic-metre LNG storage tank and an auxiliary natural gas engine built by Rolls-Royce, and was refuelled with LNG for the first time in Barecelona on January 29.

In 2016, Balearia's fleet of 25 ships sailed 1,045,000 nautical miles on all its routes - 13 percent more than the previous year - as a result of the increased service offering on some sailings, and the opening of new crossings. The fleet's Eco-efficiency Index was 0.17 kg CO2/tonne per nautical mile covered.

The company's 18 routes in 2016 covered the Balearic Islands, Ceuta and Melilla, Morocco, Algeria the Caribbean.


Image: Balearia launched the first of four bunker-saving 'eco fast' ferries at the Gondan shipyard in Asturias, Spain, on November 3, 2017. Image credit: Balearia




Related Links:

Balearia and its commitment to LNG bunkers at MEPC 71
Balearia and its commitment to LNG bunkers at MEPC 71
Balearia highlights LNG-fuelled ferries in presentation of corporate report
Balearia orders two LNG-fuelled ferries
Barcelona completes first LNG delivery to a Balearia ferry

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