Technology group Wärtsilä and Finnish ferry company Viking Line have signed an optimised maintenance agreement for the Wärtsilä LNGPac system on board the passenger ferry ‘Viking Grace’.
This is the first optimised maintenance agreement signed for Wärtsilä LNGPac, which is a complete gas handling system for ships fuelled by LNG. ‘Viking Grace’ was the first passenger ferry to use LNG as a fuel. The agreement also includes condition based maintenance (CBM) and online support for the Wärtsilä LNGPac system.
In addition, Wärtsilä has extended its existing optimised maintenance agreement for ‘Viking Grace’ for another five years.
This agreement, signed in late 2017, enables the planning and scheduling of the ferry’s maintenance procedures to suit the operator’s business operations, thus improving long-term cost predictability. It also increases performance reliability and maximises the vessel’s uptime, benefiting the vessel’s owner as well as its passengers, Wärtsilä claimed.
A new feature for the LNGPac agreement is Wärtsilä’s CBM system that gathers information on the average gas flow, the temperatures of the heat exchangers, the use of energy, and the pressure of the LNG pumps. This data helps in planning and scheduling the maintenance procedures that improve cost predictability and uptime.
Wärtsilä LNGPac is a complete fuel gas handling system for LNG fuelled ships. With ‘Viking Grace’, it comprises on board liquid natural gas bunkering, two storage tanks, and handling equipment with related safety and automation systems that were developed by Wärtsilä.
“Environmental considerations are, along with the need to optimise operational efficiency, high on the agenda of Viking Line,” said Ulf Hagström, Senior Vice President, Marine Operations & NB at Viking Line. “Wärtsilä is a forerunner in dual-fuel and other environmentally sound technology and has repeatedly shown its excellence in technical assistance and service for Viking Line and ‘Viking Grace’. With this agreement, we will be able to utilise the full potential of Wärtsilä’s knowledge and knowhow.”
In addition to the LNGPac, the company has fitted four Wärtsilä 50DF main engines running on LNG, the transverse bow and stern tunnel thrusters, two stainless steel fixed pitch, built-up main propellers with complete propeller shaft lines and environmentally sound shaft line seal systems to the ferry.
Since ‘Viking Grace’ entered service in 2013, Wärtsilä has been in charge of her maintenance. In February, 2018, Wärtsilä and Viking Line agreed to extend the maintenance agreement, covering both CBM and online support, for another five years.
‘Viking Grace’ can accommodate 2,800 pax, and sails between Turku, Finland and Stockholm, Sweden.