Balearia’s LNG-powered fast ferry undergoing trials as delivery nears

Balearia’s Eleanor Roosevelt, claimed to be the world’s first LNG-powered fast ferry for passengers and cargo, has recently started sea trials ahead of its delivery this month.

The Armon Gijon shipyard in Spain will carry out a series of trials in the next days, including the introduction of LNG to the ship’s dual-fuel engines, according to Balearia.

The Spanish ferry operator still expects Armon Gijon to hand over the vessel by the end of this month, as reported in January.

The ferry features four Wartsila dual-fuel engines of 8,800kW each, allowing it to reach an operating speed of 35 knots.

Equipped with two LNG storage tanks, the twin-hull catamaran will have an autonomy to sail up to 400 nautical miles.

In the case of combined LNG/diesel propulsion, this increases to 1,900 nautical miles, the Spanish shipping firm says.

Furthermore, the Incat-designed ship is 123 meters long with a 28 meters beam. It will have a capacity to welcome 1200 passengers as well as 450 cars.

In addition, UK-based V.Ships, a unit of V.Group, has recently won a crew management contract for the ferry.

Balearia previously said it invested about 90 million euros ($108.5 million) in this “pioneering smart” ship. Along with four conversions, this is the third LNG-powered newbuild in its fleet.

The ferry operator plans to have a fleet of nine LNG-powered vessels by the end of 2021 with a total investment of 380 million euros ($458 million).

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