September 28, 2020. The world’s first fast ferry for passengers and cargo powered by natural gas internal combustion engines, the Eleanor Roosevelt of Baleària, was launched at the Armon shipyard in Gijón, Spain. This innovative ship is scheduled to start operating in the first quarter of 2021. It is a pioneering ship worldwide that has had the participation of leading international companies and has involved an investment of 90 million euros.
“The Eleanor Roosevelt represents for Baleària the culmination of the effort of all the teams to have the first catamaran powered by gas engines, a milestone in sustainability and innovation”, said Adolfo Utor, President of the company. Utor also highlighted that the ship “has incorporated new features to adapt to the current context of the health crisis, taking into account the distance between seats, wider corridors and digitization, to ensure greater safety”.
The Eleanor Roosevelt will also be the world’s longest fast ferry. Specifically, the ship is 123 meters long and 28 wide, with a capacity for 1,200 passengers and a warehouse for 500 linear meters of trucks and 250 cars, or alternatively 450 cars.
The four Wärtsilä dual engines, with a power of 8,800 kW each, of the Baleària Eleanor Roosevelt allow it to reach a service speed of 35 knots (with a maximum speed in excess of 40 knots). The two tanks for storing LNG suppose a range of 400 nautical miles in gas navigation (1,900 in the case of combined gas/diesel).
Baleària’s fleet strategy involves investing 380 million euros in 9 ships that can sail on natural gas. The use of this fuel implies a considerable reduction in emissions (with an immediate improvement in air quality and the greenhouse effect) and noise pollution. Specifically, CO2 emissions are reduced by 30%, NOx emissions by 85%, and sulfur and particulate matter are eliminated.