The vessel to be retrofitted is the Fred.Olsen HSC ropax Bencomo Express, which is 95.47 metres in length and able to carry a maximum of 871 passengers and 330 line meters (equivalent to 27 trailers or 271 cars). The Bencomo Express vessel was first put into action in October 1999 on the route between Santa Cruz de Tenerife (Tenerife Island) and Agaete (Gran Canaria Island).
The environmental footprint and emissions from the HSC vessel prior to retrofitting will be measured for different operational conditions. The information obtained will be used as an input to define the environmental performance indicators to be optimised. Engineering studies will be carried out to analyse the technical options to design a more environmentally friendly HSC ropax vessel using the available technology.
A second-hand sister engine (same engine manufacturer and type -CAT3618-) from the four engines that the HSC Bencomo Express has installed on board will be purchased and modified to become an LNG dual-fuel engine. This sister engine will be tested in dual-fuel operation on a test bench to obtain the approval for the modified dual-fuel engine by the chosen classification society. The vessel’s systems will also be adapted using new eco-efficient technologies, the LNG tank and control system will be installed and the bunkering system will be replaced.
Real-life trials for the validation of the pilot will be carried out from different perspectives. An analysis of the technical solutions implemented will be carried out as this vessel will be the first HSC case; regulatory validation compliance with the regulation in force; validation of the safety and operational procedures developed during the training for the crew and port workers to become proficient in LNG operations; and finally, a financial feasibility of the prototype developed will be performed.