New hybrid UK ferry will feature a broad range of Wärtsilä solutions for environmental efficiency
A new ferry being built at the Cemre shipyard in Turkey for UK operator Wightlink, will feature a comprehensive range of modern Wärtsilä equipment and systems to ensure a high level of environmental efficiency. In addition to conventional fuel, the new vessel will be the first ferry to utilise Wärtsilä hybrid battery technology to improve efficiency, reduce the exhaust emissions and lower the noise level. The scope includes four 6-cylinder Wärtsilä 20 generating sets, electrical and automation (E&A) systems, and a sanitary discharge system. Among the E&A systems to be supplied are an integrated automation system (IAS), a power and energy management system (PMS/EMS), and a 690 volt main switchboard. The specification for the order was agreed in September 2015, and a contract signed with Cemre shipyard in June 2016. The ferry will serve the crossing between the Isle of Wight and the English mainland, and the Wärtsilä solutions will make it the most environmentally sustainable vessel ever on this route. A notable contributor to this is the Wärtsilä hybrid management system. This enables a significant energy improvement over conventional systems by running the engines at optimal load and absorbing many of the load fluctuations using batteries. "This new Wightlink ferry is designed to be energy efficient and environmentally sustainable using the latest Wärtsilä technologies. In particular, the use of Wärtsilä's hybrid system represents a state-of-the-art solution for propulsion efficiency, which in turn has a beneficial effect on exhaust emissions," says Stephan Kuhn, Vice President, Electrical & Automation at Wärtsilä. "Wightlink carries more than four and a half million passengers each year and is the leading cross-Solent ferry company connecting the south coast of England with the Isle of Wight. Our new vessel will be Wightlink's flagship, and we thank Wärtsilä for their close cooperation in this project. We are confident that the Wärtsilä equipment and systems are exactly the right choice for this modern ferry," says Wightlink Operations Director Elwyn Dop. Delivery of the Wärtsilä equipment is scheduled to commence in spring 2017, and the vessel will enter service in 2018.The vessel will feature two fixed vehicle decks to hold the equivalent of 178 cars, and will have space for more than 1000 passengers. In addition to the propulsion machinery, E&A systems, and sewage treatment, Wärtsilä is also supplying technical and project management, and solution integration engineering services.