05 December 2023
Baleària has embarked on a project to build the first electric ship, a passenger-cargo ferry. The subject vessel will be pollution-free during port stays and approaches while incorporating green hydrogen on an experimental basis.
This is a new ship concept for the Ibiza-Formentera route which will promote a more eco-efficient and sustainable journey. Additionally, it will include a test laboratory for the use of green hydrogen.
The new vessel is under construction at the Armón shipyard in Vigo. It will mark the first to have zero emissions during; entrances, departures, and stays in the docks of Ibiza and Formentera. All these thanks to the installation of rechargeable electric batteries that will charge up during the journey.
Moreover, the diesel-electric propulsion system will improve propulsion performance and reduce emissions and noise, as well as maintenance.
The ferry will connect the Pityusic Island in just one hour. Hence, it will improve air quality in the ports and surrounding areas by reducing GHG emissions. Specifically, by 80% compared to other ships operating on this route.
“This ship is an important step forward and for us it has an emotional component because, despite being small and simple, it aspires to be the most sustainable ship in the fleet, as it is electric and incorporates hydrogen technology on an experimental basis,”Adolfo Utor, president of Baleària
The ferry will be able to carry 350 passengers. In terms of freight transport, the hold will house up to 14 lorries. Additionally, the vessel will be 83m long and 15m wide and will be able to sail at 12.5 knots.
Moreover, it will have double-ended maneuverability. In other words, it will operate both fore and aft, which will speed up embarkation and disembarkation operations and manoeuvres in port.
The electric ferry will start operating in the summer of 2023, according to the schedule.
Green hydrogen laboratory
The innovative newbuild to join the Baleària fleet will be a test laboratory for green hydrogen.
A 100 KW compressed hydrogen fuel cell, the largest currently available, will assist to carry out a pilot experiment in the use of this more eco-efficient energy. This could eventually serve for onboard electricity consumption.
“Our goal is to use this ship as a small-scale test laboratory to learn about this fuel and apply this knowledge in the long term, when a more mature and stable storage system than the current compressed hydrogen is expected to be available,”Adolfo Utor, president of Baleària
East by West Ferries has officially launched Ika Rere, the Southern Hemisphere’s first zero-emission passenger, fully electric ferry. The launching ceremony took place in Wellington, New Zealand, last month.