Monday, March 20, 2023

Wärtsilä to power Baleària’s innovative, LNG-fuled high-speed ferry

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Back in 2021, the Eleanor Roosevelt made waves as the longest high-speed ferry in the world. Now, its sister vessel, equally impressive in size but even more powerful and more fuel-efficient, is under construction for the same shipping company, Spanish operator Balearía.

The ‘Eleanor Roosevelt,’ which measures 123 meters in length and 28 meters wide, is currently the longest High-Speed ferry in the world in operation. It is also the world’s first fast ferry with natural gas engines that incorporates smart ship technology for onboard services and uses big data to monitor its efficiency and emissions in real-time.

The new vessel was designed to carry 1,200 passengers and can make 35 knots (with a maximum speed of over 40). The LNG (liquefied natural gas) tanks give it a range of 400 nautical miles when sailing with gas.

Its sister ship, the ‘Margarita Salas,’ is now being built at the Astilleros Armon Gijon yard in Spain. While the dimensions of the two ships will be the same, the new vessel promises to be even more impressive than its predecessor.

Baleària’s new high-speed RoPax ferry will be equipped with a state-of-the-art drivetrain package supplied by a Finnish technology group Wärtsilä. The drivetrain includes four Wärtsilä 31DF dual-fuel engines operating primarily on LNG fuel, four Wärtsilä WXJ steerable-reversible inboard hydraulic waterjets with Protouch propulsion control system, and two LNGPac fuel storage and supply systems.

It will provide the ship with 10% greater power and increased efficiency. Also, the latest-generation WXJ Wärtsilä waterjets will deliver even better performance. Overall, the Margarita Salas will feature optimized speed and capacity and will operate on LNG fuel.

The IMO Tier III compliant Wärtsilä 31DF is also considered the most powerful engine in its class and features outstanding efficiency. In addition to this powerful engine, the axial flow of the Wärtsilä waterjets reduces the installation footprint by an average of 25% compared to conventional systems.

Furthermore, the propulsion system will enable the Margarita Salas to reach a service speed of 35 knots (40 mph) while still burning fuel efficiently.

“This new ship will combine the most competitive features of the Eleanor Roosevelt with a series of innovations in its design and engineering to enhance the customer experience,” says Mr. Pablo Garcia, New Builds Project Manager at Baleària.

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