Baleària started the conversion of the Martín i Soler ferry, which will be the fifth in the fleet whose engines are adapted to be able to navigate on natural gas. The work is carried out at the West Sea shipyard in Viana do Castelo (Portugal) and is scheduled to end in April 2021. When operating with LNG, the ship is expected to stop emitting about 9,200 tons of CO2 annually, which is equivalent to about 6,000 cars or to plant about 18,000 trees.
Currently, the Martín i Soler has MAK 9M43C engines that, after the adaptation, will become the 9M46DF model (the same in two other Baleària ships already converted: the Bahama Mama, and the Abel Matutes). In addition, a 360 cubic meter tank will be installed on an inner deck of the ferry, which will give it a range of about 1,000 nautical miles. For this, the tank will have to be placed on the side of the ship: the metal of the hull will be cut, the tank will be inserted and later it will be welded again. It will be the first time that this operation is carried out on a Baleària ship.
Taking advantage of the process, the necessary work will be carried out to convert the vessel into a smart ship. Thus, the Martín i Soler will enjoy technological and digital innovations dedicated to improving the customer experience on board.
At the same time, and as already happened on the Bahama Mama and Sicilia ferries, a series of sensors will be installed allowing the ship’s fuel consumption and emissions to be monitored in real time.
Baleària has a firm commitment to the use of natural gas as fuel for its ships. In fact, its fleet plan contemplates having nine ships powered by this clean energy next year (three new built and six converted). In total, the shipping company will invest around 380 million euros in these projects and part of the adaptation operations will be co-financed through CEF funds from the European Union.