Incat has secured a contract to build the world’s first high speed passenger Ro-Ro ship powered by environmentally friendly Liquified Natural Gas (LNG).
Incat Chairman Robert Clifford says “this is a significant step forward as the use of natural gas powered ships must replace ships with less environmentally friendly engines. This first LNG powered fast ship is expected to set the scene for the future”.
The 99 metre high speed ferry, with capacity for over 1000 passengers and 153 cars, is being built at the Incat Tasmania shipyard at Prince of Wales Bay in Hobart for delivery in 2012 to a customer who has for now requested the commercial arrangements and route remain under wraps.
Incat and Revolution Design engineers are working closely with technical personnel from GE in Europe and the United States to progress this exciting project which will be the first installation of LNG powered dual fuel engines in an Incat high speed ferry, and the first high speed craft built under the HSC code to be powered by Gas Turbines using LNG as the primary fuel and marine distillate for standby and ancillary use.
In each catamaran hull a GE Energy LM2500 Gas Turbine will drive a Wartsila LJX 1720 waterjet, a departure from the usual use of two engines and two jets per hull as used in the diesel powered Incat vessels.
The GE Energy LM2500 Gas Turbines are to be modified to meet class requirements so that either LNG or marine distillate can be burned. The LM2500 Gas Turbine is derived from the CF6 family of wide body aircraft engines. It powers many industrial and electrical generation applications around the world, using a large variety of gaseous and liquid fuels.
Fleets of destroyer class warships in navies worldwide, as well as commercial ferries and cruise ships have turned to the LM2500 for their marine propulsion needs. While these applications have utilized liquid fuel, GE has now modified the fuel delivery system to accommodate Liquid Natural Gas (LNG). This will allow lower emissions and operating costs for commercial fast ferries.
The fuel tanks for the LNG will be installed in a compartment above the double bottom marine distillate tanks. The change-over between the two fuels will be automatically controlled and seamless.
The design teams at Incat and Revolution Design are working towards a goal of making hull 069 the fastest, environmentally cleanest, most efficient, high speed ferry in the world.