Spain’s first LNG engine for passenger ships launched

Spain's first LNG engine for passenger ships launched
(L to R) Adolfo Utor (Baleària), Sixte Cambra  (Port of Barcelona), Daniel López Jordà, (Gas Natural Fenosa) and the captain of the ferry Abel Matutes. (Image courtesy of Gas Natural Fenosa)

Gas Natural Fenosa and Baleària launched Spain’s first natural gas engine for passenger boats, in the Port of Barcelona, last week.

Both companies have fostered the development and installation of the auxiliary engine and a 30 cubic meters tank of liquefied natural gas (LNG) on the ferry Abel Matutes owned by Baleària, which operates a daily Barcelona-Palma de Mallorca route.

The new natural gas engine is fully integrated into the ship’s electricity plant, enabling it to operate with any of the auxiliary engines, with no visual impact.

The vessel will consume natural gas in its maneuvers to approach and leave the port and for its electricity production while it is docked, instead of its usual fuel.

The ferry, which measures 190 meters in length, has a capacity of 900 people and 2,235 linear meters of wheeled cargo. Application of this technology will lead to an emissions reduction and an annual saving of almost 4,000 tons of carbon dioxide (CO2), over 60 tons of nitrogen oxide (NOx) and 6 tons of sulphur oxide (SOx).

The chairman of Baleària, Adolfo Utor, said that this project involved the construction of three smartships powered by LNG, calling it the company’s strategic decision.

Daniel López Jordà, the general manager of retail business at Gas Natural Fenosa added that natural gas will be a key factor in the transport sector in the coming years.

In January, the vessel bunkered liquefied natural gas for the Baleària ship Abel Matutes.