Wärtsilä to supply hybrid power for ferries and bulk carriers

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In a swathe of contract awards, Wärtsilä is to supply the engines and electric solutions for two new hybrid ferries and three hybrid bulk carriers.

The two Superstar class ferries will be operated by Finnlines between Finland and Sweden across the Baltic Sea and are under construction at the China Merchants Jinling Shipyard (Weihai) in China. They will feature Wärtsilä 46F main engines, thrusters and an electric package that includes a hybrid shaft generator system comprising a fully integrated Multidrive capable of driving the shaft generators in both directions as motors and/or generators.

The package also includes the thruster control system, and an energy management system for performance optimization. Wärtsilä notes that this will enable the vessels to operate free of emissions on either batteries or shore power while in port.

“High efficiency and sustainable operations are increasingly becoming the key focus areas for ferry operators around the world,” said Mika Ojutkangas, general manager, sales, Wärtsilä Marine Power. “This latest Finnlines order is further evidence of the success of this approach. These new ferries will be among the most eco-friendly ferries of their type, setting new standards for sustainability and energy efficiency.”

Meanwhile, three newbuild 90m, 5,000dwt bulk carriers are being built at the Colombo Dockyard in Sri Lanka for Misje Eco Bulk, a unit of the Norway-based Misje Rederi group. An integrated Wärtsilä Hybrid Solution, comprising both engines, energy store and energy management system, will enable the vessels to sail in and out of port and to perform cargo operations completely emissions-free. The order with Wärtsilä was signed in October 2020 and includes an option for an additional three vessels.

“We are extremely honored to have worked closely with Misje Eco Bulk to develop this fully integrated hybrid propulsion solution, which represents a new overall benchmark for bulk carriers in terms of operational flexibility, high efficiency and low emission levels,” noted Grant Gassner, director of integrated systems and Solutions at Wärtsilä Marine Power. “We look forward to continuing our good collaboration with both Misje and Colombo Dockyard during the construction and commissioning of these groundbreaking vessels.”

Delivery of the equipment for the bulk carriers will commence in autumn 2021, and the first of the three ships is scheduled to enter service in mid-2022. The subsequent vessels will be delivered at four-month intervals.

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Lawrence has been covering engineering subjects – with a focus on motorsport technology – since 2007 and has edited and contributed to a variety of international titles. Currently, he is responsible for content across UKI Media & Events' portfolio of websites while also writing for the company's print titles.

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