Technology group Wärtsilä has been awarded the contract to design a state-of-the-art multipurpose transport vessel that will operate in Antarctic waters. Wärtsilä will also provide the vessel with a comprehensive package of integrated propulsion and hybrid solutions to ensure highly efficient and environmentally sustainable operations. The ship has been ordered by Norway-based Aker BioMarine and will be constructed in China, at CIMC Raffles. The ship design order with Wärtsilä was booked in December 2018, and the order for the integrated solutions package was booked in March 2019. The 168m-long, 20,300 deadweight tonnage vessel will comply with the International Maritime Organizations (IMO) Polar Code. Because the ship will operate in the environmentally sensitive Antarctic, Wärtsiläs sustainable technical and hybrid solutions, with high levels of safety and reliability, were considered the most suitable for this project. Protection of the environment is an absolute essential for us, and the design of this vessel has sustainability as a primary focus. It incorporates the latest energy-saving and environmentally friendly technologies, such as the hybrid propulsion system, and an advanced heat recovery system that helps to reduce the carbon footprint even further, said Eldar Vindvik, director fleet renewal at Aker BioMarine. The new vessel will be powered by Wärtsiläs award-winning Wärtsilä 31 engine. Two Wärtsilä 20 engines will provide the auxiliary power. The engines will all be fitted with Wärtsiläs NOx Reducer (NOR) to prevent nitrogen oxide emissions when in diesel mode. Wärtsilä will also deliver the power distribution system, including hybrid drives and a battery package, the gearbox, controllable-pitch propeller and thrusters. A Wärtsilä Nacos Platinum Joystick system will be used. The integrated solution is controlled by Wärtsiläs power and energy management system and propulsion control. The ship will carry supply goods and liquids, as well as krill products from krill harvesting vessels working in the Antarctic area. For this, an innovative cargo handling system has been developed. The vessel is expected to be ready for the 2021 harvesting season.
Dean has been with UKi Media & Events for over a decade, having previously cut his journalistic teeth writing and editing for various automotive and engineering titles. He combines extensive knowledge of all things automotive with a passion for driving, and experience testing countless new vehicles, engines and technologies around the world. As well as his role as editor-in-chief across a range of UKi's media titles, he is also co-chair of the judging panel of the International Engine of the Year Awards.