Late last year, Australian shipbuilder Incat Tasmania Pty Ltd announced that it had signed a contract to build what will be the first high speed passenger RO/RO to use LNG fuel.
Now Incat has revealed that the 99 m LNG-fueled ship was contracted by South American operator Buquebus. At the time that it placed the order, Buquebus kept its identity quiet for commercial reasons. However, it has now announced that it will operate the vessel on its River Plate service between Buenos Aires, Argentina and Montevideo in Uruguay.
Incat Chairman Robert Clifford says "Incat is excited about this project as it represents a significant step in the global move for natural gas powered ships to replace those operated with less environmentally friendly fuels."
Buquebus is a repeat Incat customer. This ship - Incat hull 069 - will be the eighth ship that Incat has built for Buquebus and its associated companies over a 20 year period.
"It will be the largest catamaran they have operated and the fastest, environmentally cleanest, most efficient, high speed ferry in the world," says Mr. Clifford.
The yet to be named vessel is under construction at the Incat shipyard at Prince of Wales Bay at Hobart in Tasmania, Australia. Delivery is anticipated to be in the Southern hemisphere spring of 2012.
Hull 069, with capacity for over 1000 passengers and 153 cars has a projected lightship speed of 53 knots, and an operating speed of 50 knots. Crossing the River Plate (Rio de la Plata) at high speed will allow the ferry service to compete with airline traffic between Uruguay and Argentina.
The passenger cabin will include tourist, business and first class seating, and over 1000 square metres of extensively fitted out duty free shop, the largest shopping area ever installed on a fast ferry.
The vessel will be the first installation of LNG powered dual fuel engines in an Incat high speed ferry, and the first high speed craft built under the HSC code to be powered by gas turbines using LNG as the primary fuel and marine distillate for standby and ancillary use.
March 29, 2011