Wärtsilä clinches first contract for novel hybrid propulsion system

Finnish technology group Wärtsilä has received its first order for the recently introduced Wärtsilä HY, a hybrid power module that combines engines, an energy storage system, and power electronics. The contract has been signed with Italy based Rimorchiatori Riuniti, the biggest owner and operator of tugs in the Mediterranean region. The company’s fleet comprises some 100 vessels. The order with Wärtsilä was signed at the Nor-Shipping exhibition on Tuesday.

The Wärtsilä HY will be dedicated to a project for a new 80 TBP (tons bollard pull) harbour tug, making it the first ever project to feature propulsion based on this latest Wärtsilä innovation.

“The Wärtsilä HY represents the newest and most advanced level of integration related to hybrid technology for marine applications,” the Finnish company said in a release.

“This first ever Wärtsilä HY installation will mark the beginning of a new era in marine propulsion technology,” claimed Giulio Tirelli, director of marine engineering at Wärtsilä.

The Wärtsilä equipment will be delivered during the second half of 2018, and the new tug is expected to be in service by the beginning of 2019.

The Wärtsilä HY features a new integrated energy optimisation system (EOS). When operating in ‘Green Mode’ zero emissions can be achieved. Smokeless operation is also achievable at all load points and in all operating modes, thanks to a new patent pending automation procedure. Furthermore, the reduction in engine operating hours lowers maintenance requirements and extends the intervals between overhauls. The Wärtsilä HY ensures that the overall vessel performance is greatly improved compared to operating on conventional machinery solutions or hybrid solutions, while the higher level of redundancy promotes increased safety. Other benefits include instantaneous load acceptance with rapid response to step-load changes, entire system certification and guaranteed performance.

Sam Chambers

Starting out with the Informa Group in 2000 in Hong Kong, Sam Chambers became editor of Maritime Asia magazine as well as East Asia Editor for the world’s oldest newspaper, Lloyd’s List. In 2005 he pursued a freelance career and wrote for a variety of titles including taking on the role of Asia Editor at Seatrade magazine and China correspondent for Supply Chain Asia. His work has also appeared in The Economist, The New York Times, The Sunday Times and The International Herald Tribune.
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