The Spanish ferry company Balearia embarked on a project to build the first electric Ro-Pax/passenger and cargo ferryboat that will be pollution-free during port stays and incorporate green hydrogen on an experimental basis.
The new ship concept for the Ibiza Town (Ibiza Island)-La Savina (Formentera Island) route, in addition to promoting a more eco-efficient and sustainable trip, will feature a test laboratory for the use of green hydrogen.
The newbuild, which is being built at the Armon Shipyard in Vigo (Spain), will be the first to boast zero emissions during entrances, departures and stays in the docks of Formentera and Ibiza, due to the installation of rechargeable electric batteries that will be topped up during the voyage, Balearia said.
In addition to allowing the use of batteries while in port, the diesel-electric propulsion will improve performance and reduce noise, emissions, and maintenance.
The cruiseferry, which is expected to connect the Pityusic Island in just 1 hour, will improve air quality in ports and surrounding areas by reducing greenhouse gas emissions by ~80% in comparison with other ships operating on the route.
Adolfo Utor, President of Balearia said the ship was an important step forward for them and had an emotional component because, despite being small and simple, it aspired to be the most sustainable in the fleet, as it was electric and incorporated hydrogen technology on an experimental basis. Mr. Utor added that the newbuild would be a key vessel for supplying essential services to Formentera.
The new ferry will be able to carry up to 350 passengers and house up to 14 trucks. The vessel has LOA length 83 m, width 15 m, service speed 12,5 knots (23 kph).
It will be double-ended and operate both fore/aft, which will speed up embarkation/disembarkation operations/maneuvers in port.
The electric ferry is expected to start operation in the summer of 2023.