The launching of the catamaran ‘Eleanor Roosevelt’, manufactured in Gijón and propelled by liquefied natural gas, is a technological milestone at a time of great activity and strength of the Asturian shipyards
A few days ago the launching of the fast ferry ‘Eleanor Roosevelt’ took place at the Armón Shipyard in Gijón. Commissioned by the Baleària company, it is the first high-speed passenger catamaran to sail propelled by liquefied natural gas.
This pioneering and innovative project, a milestone for the shipbuilding industry in Asturias, has been supported by leading Spanish and international partners and has involved an investment of 90 million euros.
The boat is 123 meters long and 28 meters wide, making it one of the largest aluminium catamarans in the world. It has a capacity of 1,200 passengers and 500 vehicles. As for the engines, they will allow a service speed of 35 knots, with a maximum speed of more than 40 knots.
‘Smart shipping’, digital technology for autonomous navigation
The catamaran applies all the digital technology that is concentrated in the ‘smart ship’ concept. The term ‘smart shipping’ refers to the largely autonomous operation of inland vessels or seagoing ships. It covers not only on-board technologies but also the design of ports and waterways so that, using data collected by sensors, a ship can manoeuvre autonomously or prompt the crew to take action.
This fast and eco-efficient ferry is being built by Armón in Gijón with a design by the Australian engineering company Incat Crowther, a world reference in high-speed aluminium ship technology. Its delivery is scheduled for the first quarter of 2021.
World Maritime Day 2020
The launch of this catamaran coincides with the celebration of World Maritime Day 2020, which was commemorated a few days ago by the International Maritime Organization (IMO) under the slogan “Sustainable Shipping for a Sustainable Planet” with the aim of reflecting on the past, present and future of the sector and sustainable development.
The maritime transport sector, with the support of the IMO’s regulatory framework, has already begun the transition towards a sustainable future aligned with the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals (SDA). The IMO has adopted and will continue to develop measures to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and the sulphur content of ship fuel, among other objectives.
With the launching of the ‘Eleanor Roosevelt’, Spanish naval and oceanic engineers made clear their commitment to the blue economy.
The shipping sector in Asturias, leader in technology
Asturias has a long-standing history in the shipping sector and its industry has reacted to adapt to market demands and strong international competition, equipping itself with the most advanced technologies. Traditionally, Asturian shipyards have made up a high percentage of sector activity in Spain, occupying leading positions on a national and European level.
Recently, the Asturian naval industry has achieved important contracts at a national and international level in sectors such as offshore wind energy, factory fishing vessels or oceanographic vessels, which allows them to generate employment and maintain very promising growth figures.