Wärtsilä signs optimised maintenance agreements for two ferries

2021-09-26T18:35:24+00:00 September 26th, 2021|Technology|

Wärtsilä has signed a five-year optimised maintenance agreement with Canadian ferry operator Societé des Traversiers du Quebec (STQ).

This agreement covers the ‘F.A. Gauthier’, a 133 m long ferry operating with Wärtsilä 34DF dual-fuel engines plus other Wärtsilä equipment.

Signing of the agreement took place in the second quarter of 2021 and there is a further five-year extension option. This is a renewal of a maintenance agreement that had been running for the previous five years.

Among the services provided under the agreement are the company’s Expert Insight tool and data-driven dynamic maintenance planning made possible by the Wärtsilä Data Collection Unit (WDCU).

Expert Insight uses artificial intelligence and advanced diagnostics to take predictive maintenance to another level. It is estimated that unplanned downtime can be reduced by 30 to 50%, Wärtsilä said.

Communication between Wärtsilä’s experts and on board crew can be conducted via the Expert Insight collaboration app. The WDCU collects and transmits operational data to the cloud for remote monitoring. This facilitates advanced analytics, thus providing accurate insight into the vessel’s performance.

In addition to the Wärtsilä engines, support is also being provided to the Wärtsilä LNGPac fuel storage, supply, and control system, the Gas Valve Unit, and the ship’s electrical and automation systems.

Also included will be scheduled maintenance parts, field service, workshop services, and logistics for the covered equipment.

“The co-operation with Wärtsilä is important and beneficial to our operations. This latest agreement will ensure the safety and optimal functioning of the equipment, while also ensuring that maintenance planning and procedures are optimised, leading to valuable reductions in operating costs,” said Luc Morneau, STQ’s Director of Marine Operations.

“The renewal of this agreement demonstrates the benefits and value that it brings. It also strengthens the relationship between our companies. As the marine industry adopts more complex technologies, equipment insight, dynamic maintenance planning, and real-time technical support add considerable value and are becoming increasingly important. Maintaining and optimising an asset is also good for the environment, as well as for the fuel bill,” said Cole Lowder, Agreement Sales Manager, Wärtsilä Marine Power.

’F.A. Gauthier’ is one of STQ’s fleet of ferries operating in and around the Canadian Province of Quebec as part of the regional transportation system.

The second contract announced involved a 10-year optimised maintenance agreement covering Wasaline’s new ferry, ‘Aurora Botnia’.
The agreement was signed in June, 2021, but became effective this month.

Built at the RMC shipyard in Finland, ‘Aurora Botnia’ is claimed to be the world’s most environmentally-friendly ropax.

The ship’s propulsion is based on a hybrid solution featuring Wärtsilä 31DF dual-fuel engines and batteries. The Wärtsilä 31DFs will operate primarily on LNG but will also be able to use BioLNG.

This service also makes it possible to tune the operation to achieve the lowest possible carbon footprint and minimise unscheduled downtime. She will act as a floating test laboratory linked to Wärtsilä’s Smart Technology Hub in Vaasa, Finland, allowing real-time operational monitoring.

“We have worked closely with Wärtsilä for a long time and this partnership has paid huge dividends in terms of efficiency and environmental sustainability.

“We had no hesitation, therefore, in opting for a Wärtsilä maintenance agreement for this new ship, which will be the first car and passenger ferry in the world to have a Clean Design class notation. It already now meets the proposed ‘EU fit for 55’ programme, which seeks a reduction in CO2 emissions of 55 % by 2030,” said Peter Ståhlberg, Wasaline’s Managing Director.

In addition to the hybrid propulsion system, ‘Aurora Botnia’ also features Wärtsilä’s Data Bridge platform. This enables advanced data analytics that provide insight into the ship’s performance at all times, thereby unlocking further potential for enhancing operational and technical efficiencies.

The ropax is fitted with four Wärtsilä 31DF engines, Wärtsilä’s LNG Pac gas storage solution, as well as with Wärtsilä thrusters, catalysators, controls, integrated electrical and automation systems, and an energy and power management system controlling the hybrid power solution. She also features Wärtsilä’s Nacos Platinum integrated vessel control system.

The 150 m long ferry will have a capacity for 800 pax and 1,500 lane metres for vehicles and will sail between Vaasa in Finland and Umeå in Sweden. Both ports will provide LNG bunkering facilities and a battery charging capability.