MAN Energy Solutions after-sales division MAN PrimeServ has secured a deal to convert two of the RoPax ferries operated by Spain’s Baleària Eurolineas Maritimas to a liquefied natural gas (LNG) operation.

Representing the first of its kind to be carried out in the RoPax ferry market, the deal will allow the two vessels to conduct dual-fuel operation.

As part of the contract, MAN PrimeServ will convert the main engines of ‘Nápoles’ and ‘Sicilia’ to 9L51/60DF units.

Both the sister vessels are currently powered by MAN 9L48/60A engines.

Conversion of Nápoles is expected to take place in Spain between November and January next year, while the conversion of Sicilia is set to take place from October to December next year.

Sicilia currently serves the Barcelona – Ibiza route, and Nápoles caters to the Algeciras – Tanger Med route.

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“The company’s commitment to the environment is a strategic line for the company based on the use of liquefied natural gas and other clean energies.”

Baleària Eurolineas Maritimas Operations director general Ettore Morace said: “The company’s commitment to the environment is a strategic line for the company based on the use of liquefied natural gas and other clean energies, as well as fleet eco-efficiency.”

LNG is said to lower carbon dioxide emissions by 30% and nitrogen oxide by 85%, as well as eliminates sulphur and particle emissions.

MAN Energy previously converted German shipping company Wessels Reederei’s 1,036 twenty-foot equivalent unit (TEU) feeder container ship, Wes Amelie, to LNG operation.

The conversion saw the retrofitting of the vessel’s MAN 8L48/60B main engine to a multi-fuel, four-stroke MAN 51/60DF unit to allow dual-fuel operation.

MAN further noted that the conversion to LNG operation is part of the company’s strategy to establish LNG as a shipping fuel and eventually support the objective of creating a climate-neutral shipping industry across the globe.