Spain’s Balearia places order for second LNG-powered fast ferry

Spanish ferry operator Balearia has ordered a new LNG-powered fast ferry at compatriot shipbuilder Armon Gijon, 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.

LNG Prime reported in February this year, citing sources, that Balearia was in talks with Armon Gijon to order the second, improved version of the fast ferry.

Balearia confirmed the order of the new vessel in a statement on Monday.

The firm expects the new ship, Margarita Salas, to start operations in 2024.

Balearia did not reveal the price tag of the order. It invested about 90 million euros ($89.1 million) in the first ferry.

Equipped with four Wartsila dual-fuel engines of 9,600kW each, the 123 meters long ship would have the capability to reach a service speed of 35 knots, it said.

The vessel will have a capacity to transport 1,200 passengers and 400 vehicles.

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

Following the delivery of this newbuild, the shipping firm will have a fleet of ten LNG-powered vessels.

Baleria noted in the statement that it had been forced to reduce the use of LNG fuel for its fleet this year due to “skyrocketing” prices.

However, the company considers LNG as a transitional fuel since it is the “cleanest and most mature that currently exists with the horizon of decarbonization by 2050,” it said.

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