The GAINN4SHIP INNOVATION project, coordinated by Fundación Valenciaport and co-financed by the European Union via the “Connect Europe” programme, has been selected for the 2016 GENERA Innovation Gallery in the Energy and Environment International Trade Fair. It was selected due to its level of technological innovation and the contribution it makes to improving energy efficiency, sustainability and protecting the environment.
The proposed initiative consists of retrofitting a high speed ro-pax vessel, the Bencomo Express, so that it can be powered by both diesel and LNG. This ship operates in the Canary Islands, an archipelago that is particularly environmentally vulnerable.
The retrofitting of the Bencomo Express will be the world’s first conversion to LNG fuel of a high-speed ro-pax vessel that can transport both passengers and goods. The technical solution to be applied to this vessel will demonstrate the feasibility of using LNG as a marine fuel.
The technology proposed for retrofitting the Bencomo Express will convert its four high power 4-stroke engines to dual-fuel without the need to replace the existing engines with new ones. This globally ground-breaking approach addresses major challenges both in technological terms as well as with respect to financial viability. This technology will be applicable to most high-speed vessels operating around the world.
The shipping company Fred. Olsen, S.A., through the GAINN4SHIP INNOVATION project, will use LNG to connect the islands of the Canary archipelago in a greener and more sustainable way. The company intends to retrofit not just the Bencomo Express but also its entire fleet in the short-to-medium term, thereby maintaining the current shipping model of using high-speed vessels.
This revolutionary model of inter-island transport based on the use of LNG as a marine fuel is expected to reduce CO2 emissions by at least 20% and sulphur emissions by 80%. In addition, it will generate an initial demand for LNG as a marine fuel in Spanish ports, which would represent a first step towards making Spain a strategic hub for supplying this type of fuel through its ports. Lastly, the project will contribute to the development of the Spanish shipping sector and LNG-related industry by creating jobs for highly-qualified workers.
Thanks to the recognition this project has received, GAINN4SHIP INNOVATION will be exhibited at the Energy and Environment International Trade Fair to be held from 15th to 17th June at Madrid’s IFEMA venue.