The new ferry will cover the Ibiza-Formentera route and will reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 80%

The president of Baleària, Adolfo Utor, presented the ship, which will be able to hold 350 passengers and will be operational in 2023

The president of the Balearic Government, Francina Armengol, highlighted the shipping company’s involvement in hydrogen-related projects
Baleària presented the construction of the first electric passenger and cargo ferry that will be pollution free during port stays and approaches. This is a new ship concept for the Ibiza-Formentera route which, in addition to promoting a more eco-efficient and sustainable journey, will include a test laboratory for the use of green hydrogen.

The new vessel, which is being built at the Armón shipyard in Vigo, will be the first to have zero emissions during entrances, departures and stays in the docks of Ibiza and Formentera, thanks to the installation of rechargeable electric batteries that will be topped up during the journey. In addition to allowing the use of batteries in port, the diesel-electric propulsion system will improve propulsion performance and reduce emissions and noise, as well as maintenance. The ferry, which will connect the Pityusic Island in just one hour, will improve air quality in the ports and surrounding areas by reducing greenhouse gas emissions 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”, said Baleària’s president Adolfo Utor, who also pointed out that it will be a key ship for supplying essential services to Formentera.

The president of the Balearic Government, Francina Armengol, thanked Baleària for its involvement in projects related to hydrogen and the work shared between the authorities and social and economic agents “To make the Balearic Islands more competitive, more innovative, economically more diverse and, above all, more resilient, more adapted to climate change and much more sustainable.”

Designed to enjoy the journey

From the passenger’s point of view, the design prioritises outdoor accommodation, mainly focused on the summer market, with terraces on different levels where passengers can enjoy sea views during the journey and with services focused on the pleasure of travelling: chill out zones, a large bar with a DJ area and showers to cool off with. The ferry will be able to carry 350 passengers.

In terms of freight transport, the hold will house up to 14 lorries. The ship will be double ended, in other words, it will operate both fore and aft, which will speed up embarkation and disembarkation operations and manoeuvres in port. It is scheduled to start operating in the summer of 2023. The vessel will be 83 metres long and 15 metres wide, and will be able to sail at 12.5 knots.

Green hydrogen laboratory

In addition, the ship will be a test laboratory for green hydrogen. A 100 KW compressed hydrogen fuel cell, the largest currently available, will be installed to carry out a pilot experiment in the use of this more eco-efficient energy, which could eventually be used for on-board 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”, noted Baleària’s president, Adolfo Utor. The shipping company also participates in the European Green Hysland project, which aims to turn Mallorca into the first green hydrogen hub in southwest Europe.

Source: Hellenic Shipping News