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    Spain's Balearia Orders LNG-Run Catamaran


Balearia said it will build the world's largest gas-powered, high-speed ferry.

by: Mark Smedley

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NGW News Alert, Natural Gas & LNG News, Europe, Gas for Transport, News By Country, Spain

Spain's Balearia Orders LNG-Run Catamaran

Spanish ferry operator Balearia said October 25 that it is to build the world's "longest and highest capacity" gas-powered, high-speed ferry.

Costing €90mn, it will be the world's first combined passenger and cargo fast ferry powered by dual LNG engines when it enters service in summer 2020, said Balearia President Adolfo Utor at a shipping conference in Valencia. The world's first passenger-only catamarans with LNG propulsion entered service about five years ago in Argentina (operated by Buquebus, named after Pope Francis) and Australia.

The new Balearia catamaran will have a length of 125 metres and a beam of 28 metres and have capacity for 1,200 passengers and 500 cars. It will be propelled by four dual LNG/diesel engines, each delivering 8.8 MW, to be supplied by Finnish firm Wartsila.

The two LNG tanks will give the new catamaran a range of 400 nautical miles, attain a service speed of 35 knots, and top speed of over 40 knots. Construction is scheduled to begin in December 2018.

Update Nov.5: Finland's Wartsila said that the largest ever high-speed catamaran to operate on LNG fuel will feature a fully-integrated scope of supply from Wartsila. It said: "The 125 metre-long vessel is being built at the Armon Gijon shipyard in Spain for Spanish ferry operator Balearia. The order with Wärtsilä was booked in 2Q2018." 

In other shipping news, Finnish shipowner ESL Shipping (part of Aspo) has signed a long-term contract to receive bunker LNG from Linde-owned Hamburg supplier Nauticor, the latter said October 25. It is for the supply of LNG at the southern Swedish port of Oxelösund to two handy-size bulk carriers 'Haaga' and 'Viikki'. Nauticor said these are the first of their kind to use LNG, having started operations in the Baltic Sea region this October, and are ice-1A classified so can operate under the toughest of weather conditions. They will mainly transport raw materials between various ports in the Baltic and North Seas. Nauticor’s new 7,500 m3 LNG bunker supply vessel Kairos will play a crucial role in their supply.