Finnish technology company Wärtsilä has hit a “methanol milestone” with its first newbuild engine order powered by the carbon reducing alternative fuel.
The order relates to a newbuild offshore Wind Turbine Installation Vessel (WTIV) being built for Dutch contracting company Van Oord at Yantai CIMC Raffles shipyard in China.
Rotterdam-based Van Oord placed the order for the “mega” WTIV back in October 2021 with delivery planned in 2024. The newbuild will be powered by five Wärtsilä 32 engines capable of operating with methanol. The engine order, which was placed in December 2021, also includes the methanol fuel supply system. Equipment delivery is scheduled for early 2023.
Wärtsilä says the order extending the company’s “leading position” in support of the maritime industry’s decarbonization ambitions. Wärtsilä has over half a decade worth of experience with methanol, having converted the first of four engines on Stena Germanica to use the fuel in 2015.
“We see methanol as one of the alternatives to meet the industry’s goals to reduce its environmental impact,” said Harold Linssen, Project Director, Van Oord. “We are pleased to be the pioneer of Wärtsilä’s latest methanol-fueled engine technology.”
‘Green’ methanol has emerged as one of the most promising future fuel candidates to help decarbonize the shipping industry. It is made using hydrogen from renewable-sourced electricity and recaptured carbon. The benefits of methanol are that it is relatively inexpensive to produce, is widely available, and easy to store, according to Wärtsilä. Also, the global supply infrastructure is already established.
Wärtsilä recently signed a long-term strategic cooperation agreement with Chinese shipyard Yantai CIMC Raffles aimed at the design and development of future-proof solutions for newbuild vessels, including the use of future carbon-free fuels and other integrated technology solutions.
“Leveraging the combined strengths of Yantai CIMC Raffles and Wärtsilä will ensure that we can deliver the best solutions to support our customers on their path to lower emissions,” said Li Minggao, Vice President, CIMC Raffles.
“Enabling the use of methanol fuel is an important step along the path towards decarbonised operations. These cooperations will speed the work in bringing these fuels to the market, and in building ships that meet and exceed the regulatory and operational requirements for the coming decades,” said Roger Holm, President, Wärtsilä Marine Power.
Over the next few years, Wärtsilä says it intends commercialize engine technologies that allow the use of all alternative fuels currently under discussion, meaning owners today can “future-proof” their existing assets and plan for the use of new fuels as and when they become available.
Wärtsilä will also supply a package of leading-edge thrusters to the Van Oord vessel for efficient station keeping, marking the seventh order for Wärtsilä thrusters for WTIVs in 2021.
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