Rolls-Royce Plc has signed a memorandum of understanding with Spanish shipping company Baleària, to design gas-powered propulsion systems for three of the company’s high-speed ferries, which currently run on diesel.
Baleària, which operates ferry services between the Spanish mainland and the Balearic Islands, in the Strait of Gibraltar and The Bahamas Islands, is proposing the conversion of three ferries from diesel to liquefied natural gas (LNG), a much cheaper and cleaner fuel.
Adolfo Utor, the Baleària Chief Executive Officer said, “This is a strategic agreement for the future of the company. The change in fuels will allow us to have high-speed, more competitive vessels available and, at the same time, be more respectful towards the environment, given that this fuel reduces CO2 emissions by 25%.”
Neil Gilliver, Rolls-Royce, President - Merchant said, “There is no doubt that popularity of LNG as a marine fuel is increasing, as stricter emission controls and higher fuel costs continue to drive the strategic decisions of shipping companies. This is our first LNG project in Spain, which joins a growing list of countries where operators are keen to investigate the potential applications for a marine fuel that will reduce emissions and reduce operating costs.”
“We are delighted to be working with Baleària on this project which demonstrates that LNG is now a serious option for converting existing fleets, as well as for new builds.”
Rolls-Royce is the leading supplier of LNG propulsion systems, and its range of Bergen gas engines are the only pure gas engines on the market. The Baleària project will involve developing an economic and technical proposal to convert three ferries - the HSC Ramon Llull, HSC Jaume II and HSC Jaume III - to LNG power.
Rolls-Royce will work with Baleària on developing efficient propulsion systems for the vessels which are a mix of catamaran and mono-hull design, with water jet propulsion. Spanish company Cotenaval will lead the naval architecture aspects of the conversions.
Rolls-Royce is a world-leading provider of power systems and services for use on land, at sea and in the air, and has established a strong position in global markets - civil aerospace, defence aerospace, marine and energy.
As a result of this strategy, Rolls-Royce has a broad customer base comprising more than 300 airlines, 4,000 corporate and utility aircraft and helicopter operators, 160 armed forces, more than 4,000 marine customers, including 70 navies, and energy customers in more than 80 countries.
Annual underlying revenue was £12.2bn in 2012, of which more than half came from the provision of services. The firm and announced order book stood at £60.1bn at 31 December 2012, providing visibility of future levels of activity.
Rolls-Royce employs over 45,000 people in offices, manufacturing and service facilities in over 50 countries. Over 14,000 of these employees are engineers.
In 2012, Rolls-Royce invested £919m on research and development, two thirds of which had the objective of further improving the environmental performance of its products, in particular reducing emissions.
Rolls-Royce supports a global network of 28 University Technology Centres, which connect the company’s engineers with the forefront of scientific research.
The group has a strong commitment to apprentice and graduate recruitment and to further developing employee skills.
Baleària is the only ferry operator in Spain that connects the four Balearic Islands to mainland Spain, as well as providing daily sailings between them. The company also currently operates in the Strait of Gibraltar and between EUA and Bahamas. Baleària’s business mainly focuses on the regular maritime transport of passengers and cargo.