Monday, 21 April 2021
Balearia, one of the largest ferry operators in Spain, has officially unveiled its pioneering, fast, Liquified Natural Gas (LNG)-powered vessel Eleanor Roosevelt. The maiden presentation was done today in the ports of Ibiza, Denia, and Palma. This comes a fortnight after the vessel’s official unveiling was put on hold May 1 due to logistical concerns.
The event officially threw down with voyages to three ports and included jubilant group visits to the new ferry. According to executive reports, the shipping company used $106.2 million in capital spending towards the construction of this vessel – said to be the longest, fastest, and fast-LNG powered ferry in the world. The ferry measures 124 meters long, 29 meters wide, has 500 meters of car and truck lines and can carry over 1100 passengers on board.
Eleanor Roosevelt isn’t the first LNG-powered vessel to be constructed by the shipping company. It is the seventh in line, but the project began in 2018 and was co-financed by the European Commission to create the world’s largest LNG-powered ferry.
LNG-New Dawn for Clean Maritime Energy
It is not long ago that LNG was termed as fuel for the future. Fast forward to today, it has outgrown expectations and has grown popular as a marine fuel. Research shows that Liquified Natural Gas reduces emissions of Nitrogen Oxides by 89%. Additionally, LNG reduces carbon dioxide emissions by 30% compared to diesel-powered vessels. And in recognition of the viability of LNG as a marine fuel, most shipping companies have projects underway to construct LNG-powered maritime vessels.
As already stated, LNG reduces emissions of nitrogenous components to the atmosphere to a larger extent. A recent research note has underlined its viability as a maritime fuel. And each year, Eleanor Roosevelt is estimated to minimize carbon dioxide emissions that’s equivalent to planting 30,000 trees or emissions from 9000 mid-size cars.
Considering its viability, LNG is also an attractive proposition and could be offered competitively with regards to the prices of other heavy fuels. What is more compelling though is its commercial viability especially in Europe and the United States. And compared to other low Sulphur fuels, its Sulphur oxide (OX) emissions are almost negligible.
What’s Next for Balearia?
The shipping company further reports that Eleanor Roosevelt will boast speed, minimal emissions, a particularly flexible cargo-carrying capacity, cars, and other hazardous cargo that is otherwise not permitted on conventional ferries. Moreover, the ferry’s cargo system consists of fully automated loading and unloading systems that are also powered by LNG.
Beyond Balearia, major shipping companies have also taken up the construction of LNG-powered vessels, while others are still in planning and development stages. It is further anticipated that with the commercial viability of LNG as a maritime fuel, its competitive prices, and the huge environmental offset, maritime regulations will be amended to speed up the achievement of net-zero emissions. And LNG is favored as an efficient maritime fuel to power vessels towards the achievement of this goal come 2050.