Wärtsilä wins benchmark hybrid installation for bulk carrier

Malcolm Latarche

Malcolm Latarche · 10 July 2019


Wärtsilä has announced that it has achieved a new technology benchmark with the introduction of the marine sector’s first hybrid installation for a bulk carrier.

This innovative system will be installed on the Paolo Topic, a 60,000dwt Supramax bulk carrier built in 2016 at Onomichi Dockyard in Japan and managed by Marfin Management of Monaco. The project agreement was signed on July 8 in Monte Carlo, Monaco.

Hybrid bulk carrier Paolo topic

Wärtsilä’s hybrid power module, the Wärtsilä HY, will ensure the seamless integration and control of the technologies to be installed, with the ship’s various existing power production systems. This is made possible by the use of a dedicated Energy Management System (EMS) that will have overall control of the engines, batteries, power distribution and, for the first time in the maritime industry, solar panels to be installed on the weather deck.

“This new technology development, utilising a combination of engines, solar power and batteries, represents a milestone for the industry and is made possible by the Wärtsilä HY integration,” said Giulio Tirelli, Director at Wärtsilä Marine Business. “Thanks to the fully integrated solution, we are able to raise the bar in terms of economic competitiveness and environmental performance.”

The integrated solution is expected to deliver a drastic reduction in fuel consumption and maintenance costs. This, combined with the highly advanced level of environmental sustainability, will make the Paolo Topic the global fleet’s most technologically advanced bulk carrier. Furthermore, operational stability and increased efficiency will be ensured in all operating conditions, including loading and unloading.

The vessel’s main engine is a MAN B&W 6S50ME-B9.3 which is complemented by three Daihatsu gensets. As a geared vessel, hybrid power will be useful for when the vessel is operating its cranes and grab systems during cargo operations as well as for assisting or replacing the main engine when sailing or manoeuvring.

“We are pleased to have found like-minded partners to bring new technology and innovative thinking onboard to help improve our environmental performance and leading the way towards a more sustainable future. We will be able to provide our customers and partners with the most advanced vessel performance and environmental quality without compromising on operational effectiveness and flexibility,” said Alex Albertini, CEO at Marfin Management.

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