‘Green’ methanol to power new ship

By Jack Burke24 January 2022

Engines to be delivered in 2023

Wärtsilä has received its first order for newbuild methanol-fueled engines for a Offshore Wind Installation Vessel (WIV) being built for Dutch contracting company Van Oord.

The ship, which is being built at Yantai CIMC Raffles shipyard in China, will be powered by five Wärtsilä 32 engines capable of operating with methanol.

The order, which includes the methanol fuel supply system, was placed in November 2021, with delivery of the equipment scheduled for early 2023.

A new Offshore Wind Installation Vessel (WIV) being built for Dutch contracting company Van Oord at Yantai CIMC Raffles shipyard in China will be powered by five Wärtsilä 32 engines capable of operating with methanol.

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.

“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-fueled engine technology.”

‘Green’ methanol is among the potential and most promising future fuel candidates, according to the company. 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.

In line with its strategy to meet future development needs through collaboration with key stakeholders, Wärtsilä 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.

Following the agreement, Yantai CIMC Raffles awarded Wärtsilä the honorary title of “Excellent Partner” in recognition of its long-term support and cooperation.

“Enabling the use of methanol fuel is an important step along the path towards decarbonized operations,” said Roger Holm, president, Wärtsilä Marine Power.

“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.”

During the coming few years, Wärtsilä said it will commercialize engine technologies that allow the use of all alternative fuels currently under discussion. Given the modularity of modern engines, this means that owners can already future-proof their existing assets and plan for the use of new fuels as and when they become available.

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.

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