Photo: Image Courtesy: Finnlines

Kongsberg to provide propulsion, manoeuvring systems for Finnlines’ new RoPaxes

Norway’s Kongsberg Maritime has signed a contract with China Merchants Jinling Shipyard (Weihai) to deliver a propulsion and manoeuvring system for two new roll-on, roll-off passenger (RoPax) vessels ordered by Finnish ferry company Finnlines.

Currently under construction at Weihai, the ships are expected to be delivered for deployment in the Baltic Sea by 2023.

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Worth more than EUR 12 million (about $14 million), the contract will see the Kongsberg system fitted to Finnlines’ so called Superstar RoPaxes.

The ships will be built to the highest Swedish/Finnish ice class (1A Super), with a twin shaft line propulsion system powered by four main engines.

Kongsberg Maritime has proposed a system whereby the ships will be able to run two efficiency/speed profiles — 16 knots with two engines running, or 19 knots with four engines running. This capability is enabled via a two-speed gearbox solution, delivering a propulsion efficiency increase of about 3% compared with a single-speed gearbox.

“We understand the conditions in which the customer’s vessels will operate and have developed strategies to improve energy efficiency, thereby saving fuel and reducing emissions. Our … Ice Class 1A propulsion package will allow the vessels to work effectively in Arctic conditions, dealing with floating ice and extreme cold,” Yaling Liu, VP Sales and Marketing for Kongsberg Maritime in Greater China, said.

Efficiency is further boosted through the use of the company’s controllable pitch propellers (CPPs). With the propeller and rudder integrated into a single system, hydrodynamic performance is optimised, thrust is increased and drag is reduced, with a consequent reduction in emissions. Combined with a ‘twisted’ rudder design that further improves manoeuvrability, twin-screw vessels can be expected to achieve efficiency gains of up to 6%, according to Kongsberg.

“These vessels are being built to the highest standards for use in the sensitive environment of the Baltic Sea, so it is vital that we make every effort to choose technologies that ensure they will operate as sustainably as possible,” Weisong Ni, Vice GM for China Merchants Jinling Shipyard (Weihai) Co. Ltd., explained.

“Kongsberg’s propulsion and manoeuvring system will help ensure that the vessels minimise fuel usage and emissions, whilst at the same time assisting manoeuvrability – often a crucial consideration for passenger ferries which may dock several times every day.”

With a length of 230 metres, each of the two units will be able to accommodate 1,212 passengers and will have a loading capacity of 5,100 lane metres.