Wärtsilä has been awarded a contract by shipbuilding company STX Finland Oy to supply the propulsion machinery for a new passenger ferry to be built for Viking Line, a Finnish ship owner. The vessel will be the largest passenger ferry to operate on liquefied natural gas (LNG), making it the most environmentally sound and energy efficient large passenger vessel in the industry to date. The ship will be built at the STX Turku shipyard, in Finland, and is scheduled to enter service in 2013. The vessel will sail between Turku and Stockholm, Sweden in the Baltic Sea. The agreement includes an option for the supply of equipment to a similar sister ship. STX Finland is part of the international STX Europe Group.
Wärtsilä’s scope of supply for this contract includes four Wärtsilä 8L50DF main engines, the transverse bow and stern tunnel thrusters, and two stainless steel fixed pitch, built-up main propellers with complete propeller shaft lines and environmentally sound shaft line seal systems. The propellers are designed with the lowest possible pressure impulses for superb vibration control.
The vessel will be fuelled by liquefied natural gas, meaning that sulphur oxide emissions will be almost zero, and nitrogen oxide emissions will be at least 80 per cent below the International Maritime Organization’s (IMO) current stipulated level. Furthermore, there is a reduction of particulate emissions of more than 90 per cent compared to the emissions from conventional diesel engines, while carbon dioxide emissions are also 20-30 per cent lower. The use of Wärtsilä’s duel-fuel engine technology will enable this ferry to sail without restrictions in Sulphur Emission Control Areas (SECAs) and Nitrogen Emission Control Areas (NECAs). LNG offers the most economical and environmentally sound solution for the future.
“This unique and groundbreaking vessel will be the most environmentally sound large passenger ferry in the world. Thanks to Wärtsilä’s technology, this ship will meet and even exceed the most stringent known future IMO and EU environmental regulations for maritime applications. Wärtsilä’s long experience and strong competence in dual-fuel technology, with some 300 such engines already sold, was an important reason for Wärtsilä being awarded this order,” says Tony Öhman, Senior Vice President, Marine Operations & Newbuilding, Viking Line Abp.
Wärtsilä has been at the forefront in developing of dual-fuel technology, and during recent years has launched a series of gas engines. These 4-stroke engines, namely the Wärtsilä 50DF, Wärtsilä 34DF and Wärtsilä 20DF, represent the best technology available in terms of efficiency and low emissions. The Wärtsilä 50DF engine is becoming one of Wärtsilä’s most successful products, and has been used in marine applications since 2006 when dual-fuel propulsion was introduced. These engines offer the flexibility to switch between liquid fuels and gaseous fuels with no interruption in power generation.
The new Viking Line’s cruise ferry will be capable of carrying cars, trucks and road trailers on short international voyages. It is also designed to carry 2800 passengers and 200 crew members. The machinery, equipment and outfitting, as well as the structural work, will be under the special survey of the Lloyds Register of Shipping classification society.
Pictuered: Wärtsilä’s 50DF engine courtesy Wärtsilä