On November 17 the delivery ceremony of “Elio” – the first LNG eco-friendly ferry to sail the Mediterranean – was celebrated in Messina (Italy), organised by Gruppo Caronte & Tourist in the framework of the activity promoted by the Italian Ministry of Transport (MIT) within the GAINN4MOS project.
As one of the principal milestones of the GAINN4MOS project the MIT has coordinated the elaboration of the basic and detailed engineering studies of a small ropax LNG powered ferry of Caronte & Tourist Spa. The studies have included also all those new aspects that have to be adapted, improved and fine-tuned according to the use of LNG as fuel (such as skills and training needs). After completing the engineering studies, the prototype of this small LNG Ro-pax ship (named “ELIO”) has been built in Sefine shipyard and was delivered on 22nd October 2018. This ship will be piloted in real life operations in the Strait of Messina, linking Sicily and Italy mainland.
This vessel is a small RO-RO passenger vessel, owned by Caronte and Tourist, a double ended 7 decks ferry designed to operate in EU Class D areas able to carry passengers, private cars, trucks and trailers. The main dimensions (LxBxT) of the ship are 133.6 x 21.5 x 4.5 and she has a maximum capacity for 290 private cars, 1500 people and 35 trucks. The main engines are dual fuel engines (6L34DF) designed by Wartsila with a total power of 9,000 kW. The LNG tanks capacity is about 150 cubic meters. Service and maximum speeds are respectively 12.5 and 15 knots. The ship is Italian flagged and RINA classed with Gas Fuelled notation (IGF compliant).
This is only one of the milestones of the GAINN4MOS action, funded by the Connecting Europe Facility Programme, which aims to improve the Motorways of the Sea network in 6 Member States (Spain, France, Croatia, Italy, Portugal and Slovenia) by carrying out engineering studies on ship retrofitting and/or newbuildings, port LNG infrastructures, bunkering stations throughout pilot projects.