June 1, 2020. The work to transform the natural gas engines of the Sicily ferry, which are being carried out in the West Sea shipyards (Viana do Castelo, Portugal), continue apace despite the situation caused by the Covid -19. During the last weeks the works have been maintained and, in fact, in the last days the fuel storage tank has been installed inside.
With the transformation of its engines, which is scheduled to finish at the end of July, this ferry will be the sixth of the shipping company to sail with this energy. It should be remembered that natural gas makes it possible to reduce CO2 emissions by 30%, NOx emissions by 85%, and to eliminate those of sulfur and particles harmful to health.
The retrofit of the Sicialia is practically the same as that made before its sister ship, the Naples. It consists of installing a tank with the capacity to store 425 cubic meters of fuel inside (not outside as it happens with other ships) and adapting its two engines, MAN9L48/60 to the 9L51/60DF version. The tank capacity will allow the ship to have a range of about 1,100 nautical miles.
Thus, the Sicily will be the sixth Baleària vessel that will be able to sail on natural gas. It thus joins the recently re-powered Bahama Mama and the other ships to which the engines have been adapted: the Naples and the Abel Matutes. In addition, it should be remembered that the shipping company has, since 2019, two newly built twin LNG ships: the Hypatia of Alexandria and the Marie Curie. The company is expected to have up to 11 ships by 2021 using this power source.
The ship, 186 meters long, has a capacity for 1,000 passengers and 480 vehicles. It has several accommodations, such as an armchair, an upper armchair and cabins, as well as different services such as a shop, bar, restaurant, cafeteria, a children’s entertainment area and a pet area, among others.