Baleària ferry arrives at Gibdock for LNG fueling conversion

Written by Nick Blenkey
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Nápoles alongside at Gibdock

NOVEMBER 19, 2018 — Spanish ferry operator Baleària reports that the Nápoles, the first of six vessels that it is to convert to LNG fueling, has now arrived at the Gibdock shipyard in Gibraltar for modification of its engines and installation of an LNG fuel tank.

The work expected to be completed by February 15, 2019 and will include conversion of the ship’s two MAN Energy Solutions 9L48/60 engines to 9L51/60DF dual fuel versions. Additionally, a 440 cu.m Wärtsilä fuel tank will be installed enabling the ship to operate on LNG for up to 1,200 miles. Gas pipes will be supplied by Cryospain and the engineering project has been designed by Cotenaval.

With this change in fuel, the Nápoles is expected to reduce its CO2 emissions by 9,113.45 tons and NOx emissions by 871.37 tons a year, while eliminating all sulfur and particle emissions (accounting for 75.95 tons of SOx).

Plans are also underway to retrofit sister ship Sicilia in the near future.

Baleària says that total investment in the Nápoles retrofit is EUR 12 million (about $13.7 million) with 20% support from by European Union CEF (Connecting Europe Facility) funds.

The use of liquefied natural gas as a fuel is one of Baleària’s strategic commitments. In addition to conversion of six existing ships to LNG fueling, the company is currently completing the construction of the first two smart ships with LNG engines to sail the Mediterranean (the Hypatia de Alejandría will begin operating at the beginning of 2019 and the Marie Curie a few months afterwards) and next month will start construction of what will be the world’s first large LNG fueled fast passenger/cargo ferry

“The lower pollution, higher profitability axiom really works with this fuel,” says the Chairman of Baleària, Adolfo Utor. “We plan to have at least half of our fleet of ferries sailing with this clean energy within the next three years and reach one hundred percent of the fleet within ten years.”

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