First LNG-Powered Ferry from the Mediterranean, Starts Sailing

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The Hypatia de Alejandría de Baleària, the first smart ship powered by liquefied natural gas that sails in the Mediterranean, makes its first commercial trip between Barcelona and Palma tonight. The ferry arrived last Sunday night at the port of Barcelona, ​​coming from Venice, where the shipyards in which it has been built are located, Cantiere Navale Visentini.

The president of Baleària, Adolfo Utor, and the president of the Port of Barcelona, ​​Mercè Conesa, carried out an interchange of metopes this morning, in commemoration of the first stop of the Hypatia of Alexandria in this port, which, 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 continue in a few months its twin Marie Curie “, Highlighted Utor. The shipping company has invested 200 million euros in the construction of these two vessels, an example of innovation and sustainability, propelled by dual LNG and fuel engines (with a power of 20,600 KW).

Smart ship: technology at the service of the customer and eco-efficiency

The Hypatia de Alejandría, besides starting a new era in Baleària marked by the use of liquefied natural gas as fuel, is the first smart ship of the company, which includes technological innovations at the service of the customer to improve their experience on board.

Among the novelties highlights the digitization of all the signage, access to the cabins without going through the reception (thanks to the QR code that customers will receive on their mobile), the camera system installed in the accommodations of pets (which will allow passengers see them at all times through their smartphone ) or self-service totems in the cafeteria and self-service (from where passengers will place their orders, and they will be notified to pick them up through digital screens, avoiding queues).

As for digital entertainment, the ship has a platform that allows hiring the Wi-Fi service and to which passengers can connect through their mobile devices to access television and cinema content, including the latest releases, as well as games and a selection of books and magazines. This platform with digital content on demand is also accessible from the smart TV of the cabins.

In Hypatia de Alejandría , smart technology and digitalization not only influence the passenger experience, they are also at the service of energy efficiency. Thus, the ground monitoring of the complete operation of the ship propulsion system is in the process of being implemented, which will ensure that it works optimally, as well as detect and resolve possible incidents at a distance.

Technical sheet and services on board

Regarding technical characteristics, the new ferry has 186.5 meters of length and capacity for 880 people, 2,194 linear meters of cargo and 166 vehicles. For the accommodation of passengers, has three seats (two standard and one higher) equipped with reclining seats, and 120 cabins, with capacity for up to four people, equipped with full bathroom, air conditioning, wifi and smart TV and system of digital entertainment, in addition to two cabins for people with reduced mobility. The Hypatia de Alejandría also has a shop, cafeteria, self-service and a la carte restaurant, and jacuzzis on the outdoor deck.

The name of the ship pays tribute to the teacher and scientist Hypatia de Alejandría , who offered unparalleled advances in the fields of mathematics and physics. In total there are six shipping companies that have been baptized with the names of women pioneers in their fields, in line with one of the goals established by the Sustainable Development Goals: equality and the empowerment of women.

Pioneers in natural gas

In addition to Hypatia de Alejandría , and its twin Marie Curie , Baleària has the Eleanor Roosevelt under construction at the Armon de Gijón shipyard , the world’s first fast ferry for passengers and cargo powered by dual engines that consume natural gas. In addition, the project of remotorization of six of its ships has already begun so that they can navigate propelled by this fuel, which will be carried out during two years and that has received a subsidy from the EU.

Baleària’s strategic commitment to LNG, which began eight years ago, responds to criteria of social responsibility and economic profitability, thus anticipating the increasingly demanding regulations on polluting gases. Thus, the shipping company plans to have, in the next three years, at least half of its fleet of ferriesnavigating with this clean energy, and reach one hundred percent of the fleet within a period of ten years. Liquefied natural gas is a clean and environmentally friendly fuel, and far exceeds current and future regulations on pollution. Its use implies the reduction of CO2 emissions by up to 35%, NOx by 85% and sulfur and particles by 100%, which has an immediate effect in improving air quality and reducing the effect greenhouse.

Port of Barcelona

The entry into service of the Hypatia de Alejandría is in line with the initiatives included in the Port of Barcelona Air Quality Improvement Plan, aimed at reducing the emissions produced by port activity and minimizing its impact on the environment. The promotion of liquefied natural gas as an alternative fuel for ships, terminal machinery and trucks is one of the most outstanding actions of this plan, which also includes the promotion of electric mobility and bonuses to more sustainable and energy efficient ships, among others.

Sea News, February 1