Spanish ferry company Baleària has splashed Marie Curie, its new smart ship with LNG engines.
The launching ceremony took place today at Cantiere Navale Visentini in Italy.
The newbuilding is the company’s first ferry fueled by LNG that will operate in the Mediterranean.
Marie Curie’s sister vessel, Hypatia de Alejandría, is expected to complete its construction and commence sea trials in the coming weeks. Hypatia de Alejandría will begin operating at the beginning of next year and Marie Curie a few months later, according to the company.
With a length of 186.5 meters and a maximum speed of 24 knots, the two vessels have a capacity for 810 passengers, 2,180 linear meters of cargo and 150 vehicles.
Baleària has invested around EUR 200 million (USD 226 million) in these two smart ships.
Recently, the company unveiled the construction of a fast ferry for passenger and cargo powered by dual-fuel LNG engines, described as the world’s first such ship. The Incat Crowther 125 design ferry will be the first to use dual-fuel reciprocating engines and will also be one of the largest fast catamarans in service once it is delivered in summer 2020.
The project is part of the smart maritime concept developed by Baleària, consisting of the application of new technologies, Big Data and artificial intelligence.
Baleària is also introducing LNG powerplants to its fleet, pioneering agreements with fuel and machinery suppliers.
What is more, the company has embarked on a new project involving retrofitting of six of the fleet’s ships. Worth EUR 72 million, the project received a grant of EUR 11.8 million from the European Commission.
Within the next three years, the company plans to have at least half of its fleet powered by clean energy and one hundred percent of the fleet within ten years.