New Engines and Automation Improve 25-Year-Old Ferry’s Performance


Balearia ferry has been revitalized with new engines and automation (photos courtesy of Rolls-Royce)

Posted on Oct 1, 2021 6:51 PM by

The maritime executive

By adding new engines and automation systems aboard a high-speed ferry, the Spanish operator Balearia reports that it has been able to significantly reduce fuel consumption and emissions, giving new life to a ship of 25 years. The upgrades have been undertaken with Rolls-Royce’s new mtu engines and automation and remote access systems, and according to Balearia and Rolls-Royce have really set for the future of the high-speed catamaran. Avemar Dos.

The Avemar Dos catamaran was built in 1996 by the Austal shipyard in Australia. It entered service in 1997 and, after several changes of ownership, was taken over by the ferry operator Balearia in 2008. It originally served the Strait of Gibraltar route between Algeciras and Ceuta. Now the new refurbished ferry shuttles between the mainland port of Denia and the Balearic Islands of Ibiza and Mallorca. The 269-foot-long catamaran can accommodate 855 passengers and 174 vehicles.

In recent upgrades, four new generation 20V1163 M84 mtu units replaced the previous 1163 units. Fuel consumption and therefore CO2 emissions were eight percent lower than the previous propulsion system. In addition, the new engines deliver the same power, but with a 33% reduction in nitrogen oxide emissions. The vessel now meets the requirements of the IMO Tier II emissions standard.

The ferry’s automation system has also been renewed. Automation controls and monitors not only the engines and transmissions, but also many other essential ship systems, such as fuel tanks and on-board generators. This means that the crew can enjoy a panoramic view of the ferry. The new ship automation system brings not only new software, but also new screens and computers with interfaces to other systems on board.

Further improving operations, a digital platform allows the ferry operator to remotely access the vessel’s operating data at any time, monitor its condition and plan maintenance in a predictive manner.

Besides the Avemar Dos, the Ramon Lull high speed ferry was recently re-powered using 4000 series mtu engines. Other high speed ferries, such as Nix and HSC Formentera Direct, have been using mtu propulsion since their inception.

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