Five Wärtsilä 32 engines capable of operating with methanol will power a new Offshore Wind Installation Vessel (WIV) being built for Dutch contracting company Van Oord at Yantai CIMC Raffles shipyard in China, in what is the first such order for the Finland-based marine engine and equipment maker.
Dutch marine and offshore services company Van Oord in October 2021 ordered the jack-up for offshore wind turbine installation. The vessel will be able to install next-generation wind turbines of up to 20MW. The vessel, to be delivered in 2024, will be built by Yantai CIMC Raffles Shipyard in China.
Wärtsilä said Monday that the delivery of the equipment for the vessel is scheduled for early 2023. Wärtsilä will also supply a package of thrusters to the Van Oord vessel for efficient station keeping. This marks the seventh order for Wärtsilä thrusters for WTIVs in 2021 and highlights the company’s leading position in the offshore wind segment.
"The methanol engine order extends Wärtsilä’s leading position in support of the maritime industry’s decarbonization ambitions, and in the use of the fuel. Wärtsilä has over half a decade’s experience with methanol, having converted the first of four engines on Stena Germanica to use the fuel in 2015," Wärtsilä said.
"We see methanol as one of the alternatives to meet the industry’s goals to reduce its environmental impact,” said Harold Linssen, Project Director, Van Oord. “We are pleased to be the pioneer of Wärtsilä’s latest methanol-fuelled engine technology.”
According to Wärtsilä, ‘Green’ methanol is among the potential and most promising future fuel candidates. It is made using hydrogen from renewable-sourced electricity and recaptured carbon. The benefits of methanol are that it is relatively inexpensive to produce, is widely available, and easy to store. Furthermore, the global supply infrastructure is already established, the company said .
Wärtsilä also said that it had recently signed a long-term strategic cooperation agreement with Chinese shipyard Yantai CIMC Raffles. The cooperation is aimed at the design and development of future-proof solutions for newbuild vessels. This will include the use of future carbon-free fuels and other integrated technology solutions.
“Enabling the use of methanol fuel is an important step along the path towards decarbonized operations. These cooperations will speed the work in bringing these fuels to the market, and in building ships that meet and exceed the regulatory and operational requirements for the coming decades,” said Roger Holm, President, Wärtsilä Marine Power.
During the coming few years, Wärtsilä will commercialize engine technologies that allow the use of all alternative fuels currently under discussion, the company said.
"Given the modularity of modern engines, this means that owners can already today future-proof their existing assets and plan for the use of new fuels as and when they become available," Wärtsilä said.