Rolls-Royce Plc 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.
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 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%.”
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 new builds.”
Rolls-Royce is the 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 three ferries – the HSC Ramon Llull, HSC Jaume II and HSC Jaume III - to LNG power.
Rolls-Royce will work with Baleària on developing efficient propulsion systems for the vessels which are a mix of catamaran and mono-hull design, with water jet propulsion. Spanish company Cotenaval will lead the naval architecture aspects of the conversions.