First LNG-Fueled Ferry in Mediterranean Starts Sailing
Spanish shipping company Baleària said its Hypatia de Alejandría, first liquefied natural gas (LNG)-fueled ferry on the Mediterranean, completed its first commercial trip between Barcelona and Palma.
The ferry reached the Port of Barcelona last Sunday from Venice where the shipyard Cantiere Navale Visentini, where it was built, is located.
The president of Baleària, Adolfo Utor, and the Chairwoman of Port of Barcelona, Mercè Conesa, exchanged metopes to commemorate the first port of call for the Hypatia de Alejandría at this port which, just like the shipping company, is committed to reducing emissions and promoting the use of LNG.
“The Hypatia of Alexandria marks an important milestone both in the history of Baleària and navigation in the Mediterranean, being the first passenger ferry powered by natural gas that crosses these waters, and which will be followed by its twin Marie Curie in the next few months,” Adolfo Utor said.
Hypatia de Alejandría will soon be joined by its sister vessel Marie Curie, currently under construction at the Italian shipyard. Baleària invested €200 million ($225.7 million) in its LNG-powered duo.
Both of the ships will be 186.5 meters long with a maximum speed of 24 knots and the capacity for 810 people, 2,100 linear meters of cargo and 150 vehicles.
Besides starting a new era at Baleària marked by the use of liquified natural gas as a fuel, the Hypatia de Alejandría is the company’s first smart ship which includes technological innovations to better serve customers and enhance their onboard experiences, said a press release from the company.
To accommodate passengers, it has three seating areas (two standard and one superior) equipped with reclining seats and 120 cabins with capacity for up to four people, all equipped with full baths, air conditioning, Wi-Fi, a smart TV and a digital entertainment system as well as two cabins for people with reduced mobility. The Hypatia de Alejandría also has a shop, café, self-service and a-la-carte restaurant in addition to Jacuzzis on the outside deck.
The name of the ship pays homage to the teacher and scientist Hypatia from Alexandria, who offered unequalled progress in mathematics and physics. In all six of the shipping company’s vessels have been baptised with names of pioneer women in their respective fields as part of its commitment to one of the Sustainable Development Goals: equality and women’s empowerment.
Besides the Hypatia de Alejandría, and its twin Marie Curie, Baleària has also ordered the construction by the shipyard Armon in Gijón of the Eleanor Roosevelt, the first fast ferry in the world for passengers and cargo propelled by dual natural gas engines.
At the same time, another project has already begun to refit six of its ships to sail with this fuel. This one will take two years to complete and has been subsidised by the EU.