Spain’s Balearia eyes second LNG-powered fast ferry

Spanish ferry operator Balearia is in talks with a compatriot shipbuilder to order a new LNG-powered fast ferry, following the delivery of its Eleanor Roosevelt in April last year.

Shipbuilder Armon Gijon delivered the vessel claimed to be the world’s first LNG-powered fast ferry for passengers and cargo in April 2021.

After that, the newbuild started serving the Denia-Ibiza-Palma route. In June the same year, Balearia also joined forces with a unit of Switzerland’s Axpo to supply bio-LNG to the fast ferry Eleanor Roosevelt in Barcelona.

Now the Spanish firm owned by Adolfo Utor is working with Armon Gijon to build a second ship of the same type, Balearia sources told LNG Prime on Wednesday.

Balearia is “very satisfied” with the new fast ferry and the company is “seriously” considering the construction of a second, improved version of the fast ferry, the sources said.

The sources said that Balearia and Armon Gijon were studying the second ship but they could not confirm whether the ferry operator would place the order.

The first LNG-powered fast ferry, Eleanor Roosevelt, 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 123 meters long twin-hull catamaran has an autonomy to sail up to 400 nautical miles.

In the case of combined LNG/diesel propulsion, this increases to 1,900 nautical miles, according to Balearia.

Balearia invested about 90 million euros ($102.3 million) in this ferry.

Besides the fast ferry, Balearia owns two other LNG-powered newbuilds and six converted LNG ferries.

Should the deal for the second fast ferry materialize, Balearia would have a fleet of ten LNG-powered vessels.

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