Baleària launches in Gijón the world’s first LNG-powered fast ferry

Baleària launches in Gijón the world’s first LNG-powered fast ferry

The world’s first fast ferry for passengers and cargo powered by natural gas internal combustion engines, the Eleanor Roosevelt of Baleària, was launched at the Armon shipyard in Gijón. This innovative ship is scheduled to start operating in the first quarter of 2021. It is a pioneering ship worldwide that has had the participation of leading international companies and has involved an investment of 90 million euros.

“The Eleanor Roosevelt represents the culmination of the effort of all the teams to have the first catamaran powered by natural gas, a milestone of sustainability and innovation. We have incorporated new features to adapt the ship to the current context of health crisis, taking into account the distance between seats, wider corridors and digitization, to guarantee greater security,” said Adolfo Utor, President of Baleària.

For his part, the president of Armon Laudelino Alperi stressed that the construction of the fast ferry “represents a historic milestone for the shipyard” and thanked Baleària “for the trust placed in order to participate in this innovative and pioneering project worldwide.”

Technological innovations have been added to turn the Eleanor Roosevelt into a smart ship. This will also be the longest fast ferry in the world. Specifically, the vessel is 123 meters long and 28 wide, with a capacity for 1,200 passengers and a warehouse for 500 linear meters of trucks and 250 cars, or alternatively 450 cars.

The Eleanor Roosevelt’s four dual fuel LNG engines from Wärtsilä, rated at 8,800 kW each, enable it to reach a service speed of 35 knots (with a top speed of over 40 knots). The two tanks to store LNG suppose a range of 400 nautical miles in gas navigation (1,900 in the case of combined gas/diesel).

Construction on this eco-efficient fast ferry began in December 2018 at the Armon shipyard, which coordinated the project and carried out the systems engineering, with the support of Valencia-based Cotenaval engineering. Australian Incat Crowther was in charge of the design. The engines, propulsion system and gas plant were manufactured by the Finnish company Wärtsilä; while the water tests were carried out by the Norwegian company Marintek-Sintef, and Bureau Veritas is the classification society. The architectural and interior design were developed by the company Oliver Design and the interior designer Jorge Belloch.

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