Balearia to showcase fuel-related projects in Madrid

Operator to highlight the projects it has invested in to improve the sustainability of its fleet.

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Updated on 12 Jan 2018 13:58 GMT

Ferry operator Balearia says it will be showcasing its latest innovations in sustainability at the upcoming FITUR international tourism trade fair in Madrid, from January 17-21.

The Spanish company will be highlighting the investment it has made to improve the sustainability and eco-efficiency of its fleet of ships.

As previously reported by Bunker Index, Balearia is in the process of building four new bunker-saving 'eco fast' ferries named after classical elements in nature: Eco Aqua, Eco Terra, Eco Aire and Eco Lux.

The first of the four vessels, the Eco Aqua, began operating between the islands of Ibiza and Formentera towards the end of December.

Bealearia also has two new, dual-fuel, gas-powered ferries being built at the Cantiere Navale Visentini shipyard in Italy. The vessels are expected to be operational by the end of this year.

Additionally, an LNG-powered ro-ro ferry being constructed at Construcciones Navales del Norte SL (LaNaval) shipyard in Sestao, Spain, is scheduled to enter into service in 2019, when it is set to be the largest ferry in operation in the Mediterranean, according to Balearia.

Balearia's other LNG-fuelled ferry, the 2010-built Abel Matutes, has already been retrofitted to run on LNG and was refuelled in Barcelona for the first time almost a year ago, on January 29.

Victor Terricabras, business director at Balearia, said: "This trade fair is a premier showcase event for us to present the main projects that we are working on, in our constant commitment to innovation and the pursuit of excellence in service."

Commitment to LNG and the environment

In its annual 'Corporate Social Responsibility and Sustainability Report', presented in June, Balearia said it was committed to the 'smart maritime' concept to drive forward eco-efficiency and sustainable development for the growth of its business and that the construction of LNG-powered ferries forms part of the firm's eco strategy.

The shipping line's chairman, Adolfo Utor, said at the time that the guiding principle behind Balearia was its 'three C' culture: "We take responsible decisions and actions out of Conviction, Consistency with our aims, and the Compulsion to continue properly managing legal risks," he remarked.

Later that year, in July, Balearia reinforced its commitment to LNG during a presentation at the International Maritime Organization's (IMO) 71st session of the Marine Environment Protection Committee (MEPC).

Under the title 'Why Balearia chooses LNG. Balearia and environmental efficiency: a commitment to the future', fleet director Guillermo Alomar stressed that "innovation is the way to be more competitive and achieve excellence in management", and that, in Balearia's case, this was reflected via "an efficient fleet that was capable of reducing fuel consumption and minimize pollutant emissions."