World’s First LNG-Powered RoPax Fast Ferry Enters Service
The world’s first large passenger ferry that runs on natural gas is set to begin operations today, 1st May, between Span and the Balearic Islands. The Eleanor Roosevelt is not only recognized as an LNG-powered vessel, but it is now also the longest fast ferry.
Construction of the vessel began in late 2018 at Astilleros Armon Gijon shipyard in Spain. The Incat Crowther-designed Ropax catamaran has a length of over 400 feet and is powered by Wartsila dual-fuel main engines. The Eleanor Roosevelt has a maximum speed of over 40 knots and a service speed of 35 knots.
Balearia’s new vessel takes advantage of the latest technologies to improve the engine system and the comfort of passengers. The vessel’s two LNG tanks give it a range of about 400 nautical miles without refueling. With a dual-fuel mode, the ferry’s range is further increased to 1900 nautical miles.
Balearia has been committed to environmental issues and has been growing a fleet of LNG-fueled vessels. The Eleanor Roosevelt is now the seventh vessel powered by natural gas. Balearia is also working on converting one of its vessels to use dual-fuel and intends to build another LNG-fueled vessel as part of its $450 million investment to make LNG a significant part of its operations.
Speaking on the company’s plans, the president of Balearia, Adolfo Utor, said,
“We want to promote the Balearic Islands, a destination we have always been involved with and to whose citizens we are firmly committed, by bringing our most revolutionary, green, and smart ship.”
Mr. Utor also highlighted that the size of the new vessel would allow the company to increase its capacity on the Spain-Balearia route by 60 percent and double the reserved seats available for passengers.
The new catamaran cost more than $100 million to build and features high-tech solutions that reduce vibrations, noise, and movement. It also includes enhanced amenities, spacious, bright interior for a comfortable voyage. The Eleanor Roosevelt has a total passenger capacity of 1,200, and the garage has 500 linear meters capable of holding 450 vehicles.