First ropax receives DNV Silent(E) notation

2024-05-28T19:12:29+00:00 May 28th, 2024|Environment|

Technology group Wärtsilä has designed and delivered controllable pitch propellers for Stena’s new ropax, ‘Ala’suinu’, which has successfully completed sea trials.

Following the trials, ‘Ala’suinu’ became the first ropax to fulfil the DNV Silent(E) notation, satisfying the criteria in the operating conditions at 11 and 18 knots.

This environment class notation from DNV was introduced to protect sensitive marine ecosystems, applying to vessels that demonstrate the ability to effectively reduce emissions of underwater radiated noise.

‘Ala’suinu’, which was built at CMJL Shipyard (Weihai) in China, is operating under a five-year lease to Marine Atlantic, a Canadian operator based in Newfoundland & Labrador.

Environmental sustainability was a prime consideration in the design of the 203  m long ship, which will sail between Nova Scotia and the island of Newfoundland from June, 2024.

“The ‘Ala’suinu’ is a specially designed vessel for Marine Atlantic. We are fully committed to reducing the environmental impact of our operations, and in this vessel another dimension of sustainability has been added.

“The dedicated Wärtsilä propeller design enables us to minimise underwater noise for the benefit of marine life off Canada’s coasts,” said Capt Anderson Noel, Marine Atlantic’s Director of Fleet Operations.

“With this notation, Stena and Wärtsilä are showcasing their commitment to taking proactive steps to reduce shipping’s environmental footprint. Despite ropax being a challenging ship type from an underwater noise perspective, this innovative machinery configuration has enabled a propulsion plant with sufficiently low noise emissions to satisfy our voluntary class notation Silent(E),” Øystein Solheim Pettersen, Head of Section, Noise and Vibration – DNV, added.

During the controllable pitch propeller’s design process, Wärtsilä’s in-house design experts paid special attention to underwater radiated noise as a key design parameter.

This was undertaken without compromising on other important propeller design requirements, such as ensuring optimal performance and efficiency.

As well as reducing emissions of underwater radiated noise, Wärtsilä’s propeller ensures that owners and operators gain the benefits of lower operating costs and a reduced environmental footprint through less fuel consumption and fewer exhaust emissions, the company claimed.

“For this project, we have designed and delivered propellers where vibrations and noise have been given the highest attention, in combination with the vessel design and operations. The vessel being awarded with the Silent(E) notation by DNV after successful testing at sea verifies the environmental benefits. We are proud to be the first on the market to deliver the dedicated propeller for a Silent(E) classed Ro-Pax vessel,” commented Bernd Bertram, Vice President, Propulsion – Wärtsilä Marine.

In addition to the dedicated propeller, Wärtsilä also supplied an integrated hybrid propulsion system for this vessel, consisting of Wärtsilä 46DF main engines, Wärtsilä 20DF auxiliary engines, both of which are complimented with Wärtsilä NOx Exhaust gas cleaning system and the patented Wärtsilä LNGPac, as well as the reduction gear boxes and bow thrusters with motors.

Also included was the Hybrid DC-link shaft generator system, batteries and energy & power management system, integrated automation system and navigation & external communications system.

Wärtsilä has also announced that it will supply the electrical systems needed to convert two Scandlines ferries to a plug-in hybrid solution.

Both ferries operate on the Puttgarden, Germany – Rödby, Denmark route, and the conversion represents a key element in Scandlines’ target to achieve emission-free operations on the route by 2030.

The company’s overall vision is to realise zero emissions on all operations by 2040.

This project involves replacing an engine and existing systems with a new shore-charged electrical system, including a large energy storage system. This will allow electricity to contribute about 80% of the energy needed for each crossing.

“We are so pleased to have the most important supplier in place, and we are very much looking forward to working with Wärtsilä and getting started with the conversion. With the plug-in hybrid ferries, we can get even closer to our goal of operating the Puttgarden/Rødby route emission-free by 2030,” said Scandlines’ CEO, Michael Guldmann Petersen.

Wärtsilä will engineer and deliver the hybrid converters, the energy storage system (ESS) and the energy management system (EMS), as well as the switchgears, transformers, the onboard port charger, and replacement components in the existing switchboard equipment.

In addition, Wärtsilä will supervise the installations, carry out the commissioning, and provide preventive maintenance support services. The equipment is scheduled for delivery next summer.

“We are excited to support Scandlines with their vision towards delivering environmentally sustainable transport options for the region. Ship electrification is one of the solutions for marine de-carbonisation and as the world’s biggest conversion project of its kind, we can help Scandlines move closer to meeting their goal of making the route emission-free by 2030,” added Roger Holm, President of Wärtsilä Marine and Executive Vice President at Wärtsilä Corp.

The two Scandlines Ro-Ro ferries selected for conversion to plug-in hybrid operation are the 142 mm long ‘Deutschland’ and ‘Schleswig-Holstein’.