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Spanish ferry operator Baleària has presented the construction of the first electric passenger and cargo ferry free of polluting emissions in the rooms and approaches to the port. It is a new concept of ship destined for the Ibiza-Formentera route that, in addition to promoting a more eco-efficient and sustainable trip, will have a test laboratory for the use of green hydrogen.

The new ship, which is being built at the Armón de Vigo shipyard, will be the first with zero emissions at the entrances, exits and stays in the Ibiza and Formentera docks, thanks to the installation of batteries that will be recharged during the voyage. The ferry, which will connect the Pitiusas in one hour, will improve air quality in the ports and surroundings, reducing greenhouse gas emissions by 80% compared to the rest of the ships that operate this route.

“This ship represents an important leap and for us it has an emotional component, since despite being small and simple, it aspires to be the most sustainable of the fleet, as it is electric and incorporates hydrogen technology on an experimental basis,” highlighted the president of Baleària Adolfo Utor.

The president of the Balearic Government, Francina Armengol, thanked Baleària for its involvement in projects linked to hydrogen and the work shared between the Administration and the social and economic agents to advance “in building a Balearic Islands that are more competitive, more innovative, economically more diverse and, above all, more resilient, more adapted to climate change and much more sustainable”.

From the point of view of passengers, work is being done on a design that prioritises exterior accommodations, focused mainly on the summer market, with terraces at different levels. The ferry will have a capacity for 350 passengers. It will also be able to transport up to 14 trucks. The ship will be double ended. It is scheduled to start operating in the summer of 2023. The ship will be 83 meters long and 15 meters wide and will be able to navigate at 12.5 knots.

In addition, the ship will be a test laboratory for the use of green hydrogen. A 100 KW compressed hydrogen fuel cell will be installed to carry out a pilot experience in the use of this technology. “Our goal is to use this ship as a small-scale test laboratory to learn about this fuel and apply this knowledge in the long term, when a more mature and stable storage system than the current compressed hydrogen is expected to be available,” said Utor.