Baleària already has a sixth ship in its fleet ready to sail powered by natural gas, after the completion of the retrofit of the Sicilia ferry, the fourth operation of this type carried out by the shipping company in recent years. The conversion was carried out at the West Sea shipyard in Viana do Castelo (Portugal). The ship is scheduled to operate on the Barcelona-Ibiza route powered by this much cleaner fuel.
Work to adapt the Sicilia’s engines started at the end of February and was recently completed after successful sea trials. A tank with a capacity to store 425 cubic meters of LNG was installed on the ship, which will allow it to have a range of 1,100 nautical miles. In addition, the MAN9L48/60 engines were adapted to the 9L51/60DF version, which allow to navigate both on natural gas and fuel or diesel.
In addition, this is the second vessel of Baleària in which a series of sensors have been installed that will allow monitoring the fuel consumption and emissions of the ship in real time. Thus, the Sicilia and the Bahama Mama are the first two vessels to include this system in the shipping company’s fleet, which is part of a European consortium that participates in the Green and Connected Ports project, subsidized at 50% of the cost by CEF Transport funds.
For Baleària, this is the first phase of the project for a future fleet control tower that will allow more efficient management of operations and vessels from different aspects, such as safety, preventive maintenance of equipment and commercial efficiency. In 2022, five ships in the fleet will have this monitoring.
The 186-meter-long ship has a capacity for about 1,000 people and 480 vehicles. It has several accommodations, such as an armchair, upper armchair and cabins, as well as different services such as a shop, bar, restaurant, cafeteria, an area for children’s entertainment and an area for pets, among others. In the same way as the other ships that have already been converted, various technological improvements were made on the Sicilia to turn it into a smart ship.