Photo courtesy Wartsila

Wärtsilä to Supply Propulsion Package for World’s Largest Aluminum Catamaran Ferry

Mike Schuler
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August 31, 2022

Finnish technology company Wärtsilä has been selected to supply the propulsion package for the world’s largest aluminum catamaran ferry.

The ferry is being built at the Incat yard in Tasmania, Australia for Argentinian ferry operator Buquebus. With an overall length of 130 meters, a width of 32 meters and the capacity to carry 2,100 passengers and 226 cars, it will be the largest aluminium catamaran ever built by Incat. Wärtsilä will supply the engines, waterjets, and fuel storage and supply system under the order placed in July 2022.

The ferry will operate between Argentina and Uruguay with Wärtsilä’s 31 dual-fuel engine technology using primarily LNG fuel produced at Buquebus own LNG plant. It will also incorporate shaft e-motors powered via the main engine gearboxes. With LNG, the minimised emissions of CO2, nitrous oxides (NOx), sulphur oxides (SOx) and particulate matter will make the vessel Tier III compliant meaning it can operate in emission control areas (ECAs).

“We have selected Wärtsilä waterjets many times in the past, and have always been extremely satisfied with their performance,” says Tim Burnell, Incat’s CEO. “This though is the first time we will include Wärtsilä engines, and we are excited about the potential they provide. This will be the world’s largest and greenest vessel of its type, and we are very happy to be working with Wärtsilä to make the project a huge success.”

The full scope of supply under the contract comprises four Wärtsilä 31DF dual-fuel engines, four Wärtsilä WXJ1500SR waterjets, and two Wärtsilä LNGPac fuel storage, supply and propulsion control systems. The equipment will be delivered to the yard commencing in mid-2023.

“This is indeed an exciting project. Our latest WXJ generation axial flow waterjets reduce the installation footprint on average by approximately 25 percent, compared to non-axial flow jet designs. They also give a higher power-to-weight ratio, and come with an advanced Propulsion Control System. Combining this with our highly efficient, fuel flexible engines, means that it is a truly future-proof investment,” said Mikko Mannerkorpi, General Manager, Sales, Wärtsilä Marine Power.

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