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Wärtsilä to provide engines for largest LNG passenger ferry

Wärtsilä will supply the propulsion machinery for a new passenger ferry to be built by STX Finland Oy for Viking Line. 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 new cruise ferry will be capable of carrying cars, trucks and road trailers on short international voyages. It is also designed to carry 2,800 passengers and 200 crew members.

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 contract 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 dual-fuel 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 vibration control.

The Wärtsilä 50DF engine operates on the lean-burn principle. Lean combustion enables a high compression ratio, which in turn increases engine efficiency, reduces peak temperatures, and therefore also reduces NOx emissions.

The vessel will be fuelled by liquefied natural gas, meaning that sulphur oxide emissions will be almost zero, and NOx emissions will be at least 80% below the International Maritime Organization’s (IMO) current stipulated level. Furthermore, there is a reduction of particulate emissions of more than 90% 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).


Henry Gibson

Why was this ship built to burn LNG instead of wood. Wood is Sweden's bio-fuel choice. But with a complicated set of processes LNG can be made from wood.

Seventy years ago a Swedish man (Kaelle) made a very efficient device to run automobiles on charcoal that could be started in a very few minutes, and such a machine could be designed for making gaseous fuel for these machines, but with modern technology and North Sea and Russian natural gas it is a much better and cheaper choice.

Letting forests grow and using natural gas will actually put less CO2 into the air.

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