Incat recently unveiled Francisco, its latest wave-piercing catamaran and the fastest and most economical craft of its class. Powered by LNG, the fuel system was engineered by Chart Ferox.

Francisco is the world’s first high-speed craft built under the HSC code to be powered by gas turbines using LNG as the primary fuel and marine distillate for standby and ancillary use.

Chart Ferox, engineered and built the complete LNG fuel system, which is comprised of two 43 m3 vacuum-insulated LNG tanks and cold boxes with the pumps, vaporizers, valves and controls needed to supply the two GE turbines with 37-bar NG, a bunkering system, and a system to recover heat from the exhaust gas.

The Francisco was successfully sea trialed in June 2013 on the Derwent River, where it achieved speeds in excess of 58 knots while carrying a full load of LNG and approximately 35 tonnes of marine distillate.

“We are proud to be the supplier of the fuel system for the fastest, environmentally cleanest, most efficient, high-speed ferry in the world,” said Chart Ferox Chairman Hans Lonsain. “We look forward to this breakthrough technology being used in more high-powered ships in the future.”   

The Francisco will service passengers crossing the Rio de la Plata (River Plate) between Argentina and Uruguay. It has a capacity for over 1,000 people and 150 cars with an operating speed of about 50 knots. Crossing the River Plate at high speeds will allow the ferry service to compete with airline traffic between Uruguay and Argentina.

The passenger cabin includes tourist, business and first class seating, and a more than 1,100 square metre duty-free shop, the largest shopping area ever installed on a fast ferry.

Buquebus Chairman Juan Carlos Lopez Mena recently announced that the vessel will be named Francisco, in honour of the Argentinean born Pope Francis. “Godmother” to the ship will be the President of Argentina, Christina Fernandez de Kirchner, who will christen Francisco following the ship’s arrival in Argentina.