News 2012 ›  2012-03-06
Wärtsilä technology on the Great Lakes



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Wärtsilä technology on the Great Lakes

Wärtsilä has been awarded a contract to supply its unique fresh water integrated scrubbers for a series of six vessels being built for Algoma Central Corporation to transport bulk commodities on North America’s Great Lakes and the St. Lawrence Seaway. The contract is the first order for Wärtsilä’s new integrated scrubber concept and includes an option for a further two vessels.

Wärtsilä has also been contracted to provide engineering support, highly fuel-efficient engines, propulsion machinery, and bilge water systems for the vessels. The first of the new ‘Equinox Class’ ships, to be built at the Nantong Mingde Heavy Industrial Stock Company shipyard in China, is due to be delivered during the first half of 2013.

Wärtsilä’s integrated space- and weight-saving scrubbers will clean the exhaust gases of the vessels’ main and auxiliary engines, as well as their oil-fired boilers, enabling them to comply with current and forthcoming environmental regulations. The solution is capable of removing more than 97% of SOx emissions.

The complete propulsion system with integrated fresh water scrubber being supplied by Wärtsilä to the new Algoma Central ships will reduce operating costs and cut the vessels’ environmental footprint by allowing cheaper high-sulphur fuels to be used in Emission Control Area (ECA) Zones, yet still achieve the 0.1% sulphur emissions standard set by the IMO for North American ECAs. Image courtesy of Wärtsilä.

The Wärtsilä scrubber concept works with fresh water in a closed-loop system in which sulphur oxides are neutralised with caustic soda. A small amount of scrubbing water is extracted to remove contaminants in an on-board treatment unit, fulfilling all the quality and monitoring requirements stipulated by the International Maritime Organisation (IMO).

One major advantage of the concept is the possibility to operate in zero discharge mode, when effluent is fed to a holding tank for discharge at a port. In the case of the Algoma ships, water from the Great Lakes will be used, with little or no need for producing fresh water on-board.

The Wärtsilä integrated scrubber system is suitable for all types of ships and Wärtsilä is the first manufacturer to have been awarded a marine scrubber certificate by Det Norske Veritas, Germanischer Lloyd, and Bureau Veritas.

For more about Wärtsilä, a global leader in complete lifecycle power solutions for the marine and energy markets, see our latest article or visit the company’s Web site.

For more about Algoma Central Corporation – which owns and operates the largest Canadian flag fleet of dry and liquid bulk carriers operating on the Great Lakes - St. Lawrence Waterway – see the company’s Web site.

Once in operation, Algoma Central’s new Equinox Class vessels will set new standards for environmentally sustainable shipping on the Great Lakes and for cargo vessels in general. Image courtesy of Algoma Central Corporation.