Wärtsilä is to carry out a retrofit project aimed at minimising the environmental footprint of a ferry operating on the Wadden Sea, a UNESCO World Heritage listed area in the southeastern end of the North Sea.
This area features high biological diversity and is important for breeding and migrating birds. The retrofit will enable the ‘Münsterland’, a ro-pax owned by German operator Aktien-Gesellschaft ‘Ems’ (AG Ems), to use LNG as fuel.
The order was placed with Wärtsilä in July, 2019.
Work will be undertaken at the Koninklijke Niestern-Sander yard in the Netherlands. The yard has facilities for shipbuilding and repairs under one roof, and will build a completely new aft section to accommodate the Wärtsilä LNGPac fuel storage, supply, and control system.
The fitting of the new aft section is scheduled to commence in September, 2020.
A similar retrofitting project was carried out in 2015 on the ‘Ostfriesland’, a sistership to the ‘Münsterland’, and the success of this project was cited as the prime reason for the award of the subsequent contract.
“There is no greater endorsement of customer satisfaction than repeat orders, and we are delighted to have again been selected to convert an AG Ems owned ferry to LNG fuel operation. The project is fully in line with our Smart Marine approach that emphasises greater efficiency and better environmental performance for customers, as we lead the industry’s transformation into a new era of opportunity,” said Matthias Becker, Managing Director, Wärtsilä Deutschland.
“Operating our vessels in the most ecologically friendly way possible is of the utmost importance to us. Wärtsilä’s technology is already known to us, so we had no hesitation to contract them again to retrofit the ‘Münsterland’ to allow it to operate without restrictions in the SECA and NECA sulfur and nitrogen oxide controlled areas,” explained Bernhard Brons, Managing Director of AG Ems.
The vessel will be fitted with two Wärtsilä 20DF dual-fuel generating sets and a Wärtsilä LNGPac system, plus Wärtsilä’s patented Cold Recovery system, which uses the latent heat of LNG in the ship’s air conditioning, thus reducing electricity consumption will be fitted.
In addition to the environmental benefits, significant operational cost savings and an increase in overall vessel efficiency are the expected outcomes of the project, the company said.
Delivery of the Wärtsilä equipment will commence in the spring of 2020, and completion of the retrofit is anticipated during 1Q21.
In addition to the retrofitting of these two ferries, the owners had also earlier ordered via a subsidiary company, Cassen Eils, a full Wärtsilä dual-fuel package for LNG operation on the ferry ‘Helgoland’.
The ship entered service in 2015.