Sicily to get a “made in Sicily” ferry

Written by Nick Blenkey

Image: Fincantieri

Italy’s Sicilian Region is to get an entirely “made in Sicily” ferry to link it with its smaller islands of Lampedusa and Pantelleria. The EUR 120 million contract for the LNG dual-fueled ROpax ferry was signed yesterday by the president of the Sicilian Region, Renato Schifani, and Fincantier CEO Pierroberto Folgiero in a ceremony held at the historic seat of the regional presidency, the Palazzo d’Orleans in Palermo.

“The signing of this contract,” said President Schifani, “marks a turning point for connections with the smaller islands of Sicily. Ours is the first region in Italy to deploy the funds that the Ministry of Transport has allocated for sea connections and is the first to be the full owner of a ferry.”

“The awarding of this order represents an important test for Fincantieri,” said Folgiero. “In an industrial sector that over time has moved to Asian shipyards, we have the opportunity to bring ferry production back to Italy, rehabilitate our historical skills in the sector and demonstrate the ability to be competitive while guaranteeing the highest production standards, with benefits in terms of operation and sustainability that will reach the end user.”

The new ferry will be built entirely in Fincantieri’s Palermo shipyard, marking a return to newbuiding for the yard, which in recent years has undertaken a number of spectacular cruise ship upgrades, including lengthenings. Set for delivery in 2026, the approximately 14,500 gt vessel will have a service speed of 19 knots and a capacity of 1,000 passengers and 200 cars. In addition to being LNG dual fueled it will be equipped with solar cells and batteries, enabling zero-emission port stays of around four hours.

A sister “made in Sicily” ferry could be a possibility. Sicily’s Regional Councillor for Infrastructure and Mobility, Alessandro Aricò, noted that Sicily had become the first Italian region to commissioned a ship financed pursuant to Italy’s law 208/2015 which establishes a fund aimed at direct purchases for the improvement of public transport. “The Region will have the possibility, as foreseen by the tender, to exercise the option for the construction of a second vessel,” he noted.

Categories: Ferries, News Tags: , , , , , , , , , , ,