Finland’s Wärtsilä has won a contract to supply the gas powered propulsion machinery, gas storage and handling systems for North America’s first LNG powered passenger ferry.

The vessel, which has been ordered by Canadian operator Société des traversiers du Québec (STQ), is being built by Italian shipbuilder Fincantieri. Under the contract, Wärtsilä will supply 34 duel-fuel generating sets which will provide the main power generation whilst complying with the strict emission regulations applicable to its area of operation.

The new passenger ferry will be used on routes crossing the St Lawrence River which, in August 2012, was designated as an Emissions Control Area (ECA) by the IMO. By operating on LNG, nitrogen oxide emissions will be at least 85% below those specified in current regulations, and the CO2 emissions will be 25% less than those of a conventional marine engine running on diesel fuel. The sulphur oxide emissions will also be slight at almost 0%.

Wärtsilä will also supply its LNGPac system comprising of onboard LNG bunkering, storage tanks, handling equipment and related safety control and automation systems. The propulsion system has been designed with a particular focus on safety – all engines can be easily switched to marine diesel oil (MDO) operation if needed.

Wärtsilä is expected to deliver the equipment in the autumn of 2013 and the vessel is due to be delivered by the end of 2014.