Helsinki-based marine engine developer Wärtsilä has been awarded the contract to supply the gas powered propulsion machinery and corresponding gas storage and handling systems for a new passenger ferry. The vessel has been ordered by Canadian operator Société des traversiers du Québec (STQ), and is said to be the first North American ferry to be powered by liquefied natural gas (LNG). The ship is being built by Fincantieri Cantieri Navali Italiani in Italy and will be used on routes crossing the St. Lawrence River.
Norman MacMillan, Minister for Transport and responsible for the Outaouais region, and Georges Farrah, President and Chief Executive Officer of la Société des traversiers du Québec (STQ), unveiled the design and successful technology choices in Tadoussac for the construction of two new LNG-powered ships for the Tadoussac–Baie-Sainte-Catherine crossing late 2011. The Wärtsilä contract was signed in October, 2012. The Wärtsilä equipment is due to be delivered in the autumn 2013, and the vessel is scheduled for delivery by the end of 2014.
The ferry is being built to comply with the stringent emission regulations applicable to its area of operation. With the Wärtsilä 34 dual-fuel generating sets, which will provide the main power generation, the stringent regulations will clearly be met. By operating on LNG, nitrogen oxide (NOx) emissions are at least 85% below those specified in the current International Maritime Organisation (IMO) regulations, and the CO2 emissions are some 25% less than those of a conventional marine engine running on diesel fuel. The sulphur oxide (SOx) and particle emissions are negligible at almost zero percent. This level of environmental sustainability even exceeds the emission reductions mandated by the strict local regulations.
The IMO has designated some U.S. and Canadian waters as an Emissions Control Area (ECA). This is in line with the International Convention for the Prevention of Pollution from Ships (MARPOL). The North American ECA became enforceable in August 2012.
In addition to the four main power generating sets, Wärtsilä will also supply its innovative LNGPac system. Designed and developed by Wärtsilä, the LNGPac comprises onboard LNG bunkering, storage tanks and handling equipment, as well as the related safety control and automation systems. The entire Wärtsilä propulsion solution is designed with a focus on safety and simplicity. All engines can be seamlessly switched to marine diesel oil (MDO) operation, should gas not be available, thus full redundancy can be achieved. This ensures that the safety factor is at the highest possible level.
“Wärtsilä is the established global leader in dual-fuel and gas engine technologies. All in all, Wärtsilä has now sold more than 2000 of its gas fuelled engines, which together have accumulated more than 7 million operational running hours in both land-based and marine applications. We are extremely proud to be contributing in a meaningful way towards more sustainable shipping,” says Aaron Bresnahan, Vice President, Wärtsilä Ship Power, Sales.
“I am very happy with the outcome of the very demanding design and construction process for this new ship due to start service in Matane, Baie-Comeau and Godbout in 2015. At 130 meters long and with a capacity for 800 passengers and 180 cars, the new ferry will be much larger and better equipped than the “Camille-Marcoux” that it will replace. Its larger hold capacity will be suitable for all types of vehicles. The crossing will be a more pleasant experience for passengers,” commented STQ’s Georges Farrah.
(This article compiled using information from a Wärtsilä Corporation press release)