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Wärtsilä hits marine methanol milestone with WIV engine order

Finland-headed marine- and energy engineering and technology major Wärtsilä Oyj has revealed that it has received its first order for newbuild methanol-fuelled engines. A new Offshore Wind Installation Vessel (WIV) will be powered by five Wärtsilä 32 engines capable of operating with methanol. The methanol engine order extends Wärtsilä’s leading position in support of the maritime industry’s decarbonization ambitions, and in the use of methanol as a marine fuel.

Wärtsilä Oyj has received its first order for newbuild methanol-fuelled engines to be delivered for a new Offshore Wind Installation Vessel (WIV) being built in China. The WIV will be powered by five Wärtsilä 32 engines capable of operating with methanol (image courtesy Van Oord).

The new Offshore Wind Installation Vessel (WIV) is being built for Dutch contracting company Van Oord at Yantai CIMC Raffles shipyard in China and the delivery of the equipment, the value of which has not been disclosed is scheduled for early 2023.

Promising potential

The methanol engine order extends Wärtsilä’s leading position in support of the maritime industry’s decarbonization ambitions, and in the use of methanol as a marine 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.

We see methanol as one of the alternatives to meet the industry’s goals to reduce its environmental impact. We are pleased to be the pioneer of Wärtsilä’s latest methanol-fuelled engine technology, said Harold Linssen, Project Director, Van Oord.

‘Green’ methanol is among the potential and most promising future marine fuel candidates. It is can be made using green hydrogen from renewable-sourced electricity and recaptured carbon dioxide (CO2), so-called electro-fuel (eFuel).

The benefits of methanol are that it is relatively inexpensive to produce, is widely available, and is easy to store. Furthermore, the global supply infrastructure for shipping is already established.

Strategic cooperation

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.

Leveraging the combined strengths of Yantai CIMC Raffles and Wärtsilä will ensure that we can deliver the best solutions to support our customers on their path to lower emissions, said Li Minggao, VP, CIMC Raffles.

Commercialize all alternative fuel engine technologies

During the coming few years, Wärtsilä 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 today 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 leading-edge 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.

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.

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