La Méridionale opts for Wärtsilä propulsion units

2024-06-14T22:04:27+00:00 June 14th, 2024|Technology|

Technology group Wärtsilä is to supply the engines, fuel gas supply system and thrusters for two new ropaxes being built for French operator, La Méridionale, a subsidiary of CMA CGM.

The ropaxes, which have been specifically designed to minimise emissions, are to be built at the China Merchants Jinling Shipyard (Weihai) and will operate between Marseille and Corsica.

Ferries are on the front line of the energy transition and are among the first sectors to target net zero-carbon operations, Wärtsilä said.

However, ferry operators face increasing pressure from customers who continue to expect a fast and cost-efficient service, which runs to a timetable, and is increasingly sustainable.

Operators, such as La Méridionale, are looking to leverage technologies, which offer minimal service disruption and to maximise return on investment, all while reducing carbon footprint.

“The design of these two ropax vessels reflects our commitment to reducing the carbon footprint within our own fleet. These will be among the most energy-efficient, low-emission ships in operation globally, and we value the support from Wärtsilä, whose technology and solutions help make this ambition possible,” said Xavier Leclercq, Vice President, CMA Ships, CMA CGM.

The company will continue its efforts to reduce the environmental impact by adopting LNG as the primary fuel for the new ships, as well as preparing them to operate on alternative fuels, such as biogas and synthetic methane, as these become available at scale.

For each ship, Wärtsilä will supply two 12-cylinder, one 10-cylinder and one 8-cylinder Wärtsilä 31DF engines. The two ferries will also benefit from Wärtsilä’s NextDF technology, which will be implemented on the Wärtsilä 31DF engines.

Whilst operating on LNG, the NextDF version of the Wärtsilä 31DF further reduces methane emissions and nitrogen oxide (NOx) significantly (compared to the already emission-efficient standard Wärtsilä 31DF), the company explained.

Wärtsilä’s scope of supply for this contract also includes the Wärtsilä LNGPac, a fuel gas supply system for LNG-fuelled ships, as well as Wärtsilä’s thrusters.

“The drive towards net zero emissions is one of the most important challenges facing the industry today,” added Stefan Nysjö, Vice President of Power Supply, Wärtsilä Marine.

“That’s why we are pleased to support our long-standing partners, CMA CGM and China Merchants Jinling Shipyard (Weihai), with our integrated solutions – ensuring these ferries are able to benefit from outstanding fuel efficiency, operational reliability and a significant reduction in GHG emissions.”

The 180 m long ships will be able to accommodate 1,000 pax, as well as rolling freight. Wärtsilä’s equipment is scheduled to be delivered in mid- 2025, with the ferries expected to enter service during the first half of 2027, operating between Marseille and Corsica.