Technology group Wärtsilä will supply two Wärtsilä HY 2 hybrid power modules for a new escort tug being built for the Swedish port of Luleå, on the Gulf of Bothnia at the northern end of the Baltic Sea. The vessel is being built at Gondan Shipbuilders, in Asturias, Spain, and the order with Wärtsilä was booked in December 2017. When launched in early 2019, it will become the first vessel operating with a Wärtsilä HY solution. It will be capable of operating on electrical battery power when in transit, and although it is configured as a mechanical set-up, the hybrid diesel-electric mode will allow the number of prime movers utilised to be reduced to just one for various operational tasks. These include ship assist with a bollard pull of up to 55 tonnes, or 90 tonnes on two main engines in diesel-mechanical mode. A bollard pull of 100 tonnes will be available when in boost mode. Also, the vessel will be capable of being completely independent from additional charging facilities due to recharging of the energy storage system being automatically managed by the solutions energy management system. In addition, the installed onshore electrical connection will allow the tug to recharge the energy storage system even when the tug is berthed at the quay. The integrated hybrid functionality of this vessel will give us a bollard pull of up to 100 tonnes, while saving fuel and maintenance costs and producing emission levels some 20% less than from a conventional ship of this type and size, said Henrik Vuorinen, managing director, Port of Luleå. In other words, we shall have first-class performance in both its operation and its environmental impact. Since the Gulf of Bothnia is typically frozen over in winter, the 36m-long (118ft) tug will be capable of icebreaking operations and able to handle 1m-thick (3.2ft) ice at a speed of up to 3kts (3.5mph). The Wärtsilä HY scope includes an energy management system that optimises the combined use of the engines, the energy storage systems, and the power distribution train. The mechanical machinery part is based on two Wärtsilä 26 engines. The Wärtsilä scope also includes the tugs integrated automation and alarm system. The equipment will be delivered to the yard this summer.
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.