Sunday, April 21, 2024
Maritime Propulsion

March 10, 2024

Texas DOT Christens New Ferry Esperanza 'Hope' Andrade

(Photo: TxDOT)

On Friday, March 8, the Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT) christened its new ferry in Galveston Bay.

Named for the first female chair of the TxDOT and first Latina Secretary of State, Esperanza “Hope” Andrade, the vessel was designed by the The Shearer Group and built by Gulf Island Fabricators in Louisiana.

Stretching 293 feet, the double-ended ferry showcases cutting-edge propulsion technology and pioneering battery energy storage systems.

The ferry is outfitted with diesel-powered and electrical engines and Siemens Energy’s BlueDrive PLUSC power and propulsion system, which reduces fuel consumption by regulating speed, shifting control from port to starboard as necessary, and operating the diesel engines as minimally as possible. Siemens Energy’s BlueVault Energy Storage System uses an advanced lithium-ion battery designed to maximize life, performance, and safety. The system can store surplus power while the ferry is in operation and dispatches it on-demand. This efficiency boost translates to improved fuel economy, reduced operational costs, and increased sustainability for the Esperanza ‘Hope’ Andrade.

“By installing our BlueDrive PLUSC power and propulsion system, we have reduced fuel use, minimized emissions and made the Esperanza ‘Hope’ Andrade quieter and more comfortable,” said Jana Nythruva, Vice President of Industrial Electrification, Automation and Digitalization Solutions in North and South America for Siemens Energy. “This ferry has a suite of other Siemens Energy technologies including our BlueVault Energy Storage System which further increases its reliability and efficiency.”

Capable of accommodating 70 passenger vehicles or eight 18-wheelers per trip, the 495-passenger ferry services ensure seamless flow of goods, services, and people between Galveston and Port Bolivar. Operating around the clock, seven days a week, weather permitting, the Galveston Ferry remains a linkage for Texas’s transportation network, with each voyage averaging 18 minutes.