Axpo Iberia and Baleària today marked a new milestone in the decarbonisation of maritime transport by making the first pilot trip on a fast ferry with 100% renewable fuel in Europe a reality. The 133-mile journey between the ports of Barcelona and Ciutadella (Menorca) has been made by the ship Eleanor Roosevelt from Baleària, the world's first fast ferry with dual natural gas engines.
The use of biomethane as a renewable fuel on this journey has meant avoiding the emission of more than 50 tons of CO2 into the atmosphere. This means that an equivalent volume of fossil fuel has been displaced in the Spanish gas system, taking a further step towards the decarbonization of the Spanish energy system in general and the maritime transport sector in particular.
The Eleanor Roosevelt is the world's first fast ferry with natural gas engines, which has just been released Baleària and that usually operates on the Denia-Ibiza-Palma route. This is the flagship that exemplifies the company's commitment to sustainability and innovation. Baleària is a pioneer in the use of natural gas and has invested 380 million euros in a fleet of nine ferries powered by natural gas, a fuel that reduces emissions into the atmosphere.
During the journey, the presentation of the “XII Situation Report on CO2 emissions in the world. Year 2019 ”by the Empresa y Clima Foundation, where the latest verified official data on the situation of CO2 emissions at the world, European and Spanish level was offered. At the end of the presentation, the president of Baleària, Adolfo Utor, has received from the hands of Ignacio Soneira, General Director of Axpo Iberia, the certificates of renewable origin that certify the neutral emissions of this journey.
In this way, Baleària lays the first stone for a total decarbonisation of passenger maritime transport in the near future, through the use of renewable fuels in its ships. Adolfo Utor has remarked that "it is a first experience that we carry out with the help of an important partner, and that it marks a new milestone on the path that we have set towards decarbonization on the horizon of 2050, by being able to use biomethane as a renewable fuel. Utor added that "although it is currently a scarce fuel, we hope that it will soon be accessible, both in volume and competitiveness" and has highlighted that Baleària has already started working with future fuels such as renewable hydrogen or biomethane.
For its part, Axpo reinforces with this innovative initiative its position as a supplier of LNG as marine fuel (bunkering), using biomethane as a new lever in the fight against climate change. “Axpo was the first operator to commercialize biomethane in Spain in 2015 and this project sends a clear message about our commitment to an energetically decarbonised future thanks to a 100% renewable fuel that will contribute to meeting the sustainable development goals set by Europe by 2030 ”, commented Ignacio Soneira after the end of the event. “For several years now, Axpo Iberia has closed transactions that have had a direct impact on the decarbonization of the Spanish energy system. Axpo Iberia closed the first long-term renewable electricity purchase and sale agreement, thus increasing the installed solar production capacity in Spain and, last year, it closed the first long-term biomethane purchase and sale agreement, thereby displacing more than 25 GWh year of fossil gas from the gas system ”, he added.
Companies and industries of all kinds are well aware that their actions and decisions in relation to energy consumption are vital to achieve less use of fossil fuels and their key role in energy transformation. The European decarbonisation challenges are very demanding and require the use of all the mechanisms at our disposal. In this sense, the energy valuation of waste through its transformation into biomethane becomes an important ally.