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First LNG ro-pax in the Mediterranean

ELIO, the first LNG ferry in the Meditteranean, has been delivered to Caronte & Tourist

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The new ferry was built with support from the Italian Ministry of Transport (MIT) within the scope of the EU GAINN4MOS project.


MIT coordinated the elaboration of the basic and detailed engineering studies for a small ro-pax LNG-powered ferry for Caronte & Tourist SpA. The studies included also all those new aspects that have to be adapted, improved and fine-tuned according to the use of LNG as fuel, such as skills, handling and safety training needs.

GAINN4MOS is aimed at further enhancing the environmental benefits of modal shift to shipping
GAINN4MOS is aimed at further enhancing the environmental benefits of modal shift to shipping

On completion of the engineering studies, the prototype ship, ELIO, was built in the Sefine shipyard and was delivered in October. the vessel will be piloted in commercial operations in the Strait of Messina, linking Sicily and the Italian peninsula.


ELIO is a a double-ended ferry with seven decks designed to operate in EU Class D areas (sheltered or inland waters) and is able to carry passengers, private cars, trucks and trailers. The main dimensions (are 133.6m x 21.5m x 4.5m) and maximum capacity is 290 private cars, 1500 people and 35 trucks.


The main engines are dual fuel engines (6L34DF) designed by Wärtsilä with a total power output of 9,000 kW. The LNG tank capacity is around 150 m3. Service and maximum speeds are respectively 12.5 and 15 knots. The ship is Italian-flagged and RINA-classed with gas-fuelled notation (IGF-compliant).


This is only one of the milestones of the GAINN4MOS action, funded by the Connecting Europe Facility Programme, which aims to improve the Motorways of the Sea (MOS) network in six Member States (Spain, France, Croatia, Italy, Portugal and Slovenia) by carrying out engineering studies on ship retrofitting and/or newbuildings, port LNG infrastructures, and bunkering stations for pilot projects.

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