Propulsion and scrubbers for Lakers

25 Jan 2012

Wärtsilä has been awarded the contract to supply fresh water integrated scrubbers for a series of six vessels being built for bulk transport on the Great Lakes and St. Lawrence Seaway, for Canadian owner Algoma Central.

The contract includes an option for a further two systems. The integrated scrubber contract is the last of a series of supply contracts awarded to Wärtsilä for these vessels. In addition to the integrated scrubber system, the solution provided by Wärtsilä includes engineering support, highly fuel efficient engines, propulsion machinery and a bilge water system. The orders for these systems were booked on an incremental basis in 2011. All equipment will be supplied in co-operation with the company's global licensee and joint-venture partners.

Wärtsilä says it combines the parts of the complete solution in an optimised way, which will result in savings for the owner and a significantly reduced environmental footprint. In addition, the scrubber will be the first integrated scrubber to be supplied by Wärtsilä. Wärtsilä says its oily water separator is the first bilge water separator unit approved without a filter.

According to Wärtsilä, an integrated scrubber saves space and weight, preserving the vessel's cargo deadweight capacity. The integrated scrubbers are designed to clean the exhaust gases of the vessels' main and auxiliary engines as well as the oil-fired boiler, thus enabling them to comply with current and forthcoming environmental regulations. The new Equinox class’ ships, ordered by Algoma Central Corporation, are to be built in China at the Nantong Mingde Heavy Industrial Stock Company shipyard. They will feature high environmental sustainability on their future work area on North America's Great Lakes. The first vessel is scheduled to be delivered during the first half of 2013.

"These are truly important vessels as they will set new standards for environmentally sustainable shipping on the Great Lakes and for cargo vessels in general. The scrubbers will allow the customer to operate these vessels using less costly high sulphur fuel, yet still achieve the 0.1 per cent sulphur emissions standard set by IMO for North American ECAs. The Wärtsilä integrated scrubber solution removes more than 97 percent of sulphur oxide emissions," says Juhani Hupli, vice president, ship power technology at Wärtsilä Ship Power.

"In addition to the environmental stipulations, another key focus for Algoma Central Corporation in renewing its fleet of older vessels has been to reduce the cost of maintenance. Wärtsilä's capability in providing both an integrated equipment package and global service support was, therefore, a major reason in the company being selected by Algoma," says Al Vanagas, senior vice president technical, Algoma Central Corporation.

"The newly designed vessels are environmentally sustainable because they feature an efficient hull design, an optimised controllable pitch propeller, and the choice of Wärtsilä technology as a total integrated solution package, which together will give the best possible speed with minimised fuel consumption and extremely low emissions," says Lars Anderson, vice president, merchant, Wärtsilä Ship Power.

The Wärtsilä scrubber concept works with fresh water in a closed-loop system in which sulphur oxides are neutralised with caustic soda. A small amount of scrubbing water is extracted to remove contaminants in a treatment unit onboard, thereby fulfilling all the quality and monitoring requirements stipulated by IMO. In so-called zero discharge mode, the clean effluents are led to a holding tank for scheduled and periodical discharge. Contaminants are disposed of at reception facilities in port.

One advantage of fresh water scrubbers is the possibility to operate in zero discharge mode, which means that no water is spilled to lake water when sailing in delicate waters. Moreover, in this specific installation water from the Great Lakes will be used, with reduced need for producing fresh water onboard.

The Wärtsilä integrated scrubber system comprises numerous components, which are then combined and arranged to clean the exhaust gases of several diesel engines and oil-fired boilers onboard. The system is suitable for all ship types.

Wärtsilä claims to be the first manufacturer to have been awarded a marine scrubber certificate by the classification societies Det Norske Veritas, Germanischer Lloyd and Bureau Veritas. Wärtsilä aims to strengthen its position as a major supplier of scrubbers and other exhaust gas cleaning technology for maritime applications. The company says it seeks to support its customers in meeting the requirements being set by increasingly stringent environmental legislation.

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