Rolls-Royce partners Baleària in ferry LNG conversion plan

JUNE 4, 2013 — Rolls-Royce Plc has signed a memorandum of understanding with Spanish shipping company Baleària, to design gas-powered propulsion systems for three of the company's high-speed ferries, which currently run on diesel.

They are the the monohull HSC Ramon Llull, delivered by Italian shipbuilder Rodriquez Cantieri Navali SpA in 2003, the catamaran HSC Jaume II, originally delivered as Condor 12 in 1996 by Incat Tasmania and the catamaran HSC Jaume III, delivered by Incat in 1997 as Holyman Express

Baleària, which operates ferry services between the Spanish mainland and the Balearic Islands, in the Strait of Gibraltar and The Bahamas Islands, is proposing the conversion of the three ferries from diesel to liquefied natural gas (LNG).

Adolfo Utor, the Baleària Chief Executive Officer said: "This is a strategic agreement for the future of the company. The change in fuels will allow us to have high-speed, more competitive vessels available and, at the same time, be more respectful towards the environment, given that this fuel reduces CO2 emissions by 25 percent."

Neil Gilliver, Rolls-Royce, President - Merchant said: "There is no doubt that popularity of LNG as a marine fuel is increasing, as stricter emission controls and higher fuel costs continue to drive the strategic decisions of shipping companies. This is our first LNG project in Spain, which joins a growing list of countries where operators are keen to investigate the potential applications for a marine fuel that will reduce emissions and reduce operating costs."

"We are delighted to be working with Baleària on this project which demonstrates that LNG is now a serious option for converting existing fleets, as well as for newbuilds."

Rolls-Royce is a leading supplier of LNG propulsion systems, and its range of Bergen gas engines are the only pure gas engines on the market. The Baleària project will involve developing an economic and technical proposal to convert the three ferries to LNG power.

Rolls-Royce will work with Baleària on developing efficient propulsion systems for the vessels which are a mix of catamaran and monohull design, with water jet propulsion.

Spanish company Cotenaval will lead the naval architecture aspects of the conversions.