SAL Heavy Lift’s newbuilds to run on Wärtsilä’s hybrid propulsion systems & methanol engines
Finnish technology company Wärtsilä has won a contract to supply its hybrid propulsion system for four new heavy lift vessels being built at the Wuhu Shipyard in China.
The Orca Class vessels have been contracted by SAL Heavy Lift GmbH, a German heavy lift and project cargo specialist and part of the Harren Group, in cooperation with its joint-venture partner, Netherlands-based Jumbo Shipping. The companies have an option for additional two vessels.
The order was included in Wärtsilä’s order book in December 2022.
The system will feature a variable-speed Wärtsilä 32 main engine capable of operating with methanol fuel. This will make these ships among the first to be prepared to operate on methanol. They will also be the first methanol-capable ships to employ a variable speed main engine.
If green methanol becomes available in key ports as anticipated towards the end of the decade, the Jumbo-SAL-Alliance said it will be able to offer its customers carbon-neutral transport solutions.
The hybrid system also includes energy storage, a PTO/PTI generator and motor, a multidrive converter, and the Wärtsilä Energy Management System for controlling and optimising the hybrid operations. The Energy Storage system will be based on Lithium-Titanium-Oxide (LTO) batteries, which can handle higher amounts of deep cycles than normal Lithium-Ion based systems.
Wärtsilä said that ESS will significantly reduce the fuel consumption and/or the necessary size of the port’s electric shore connection during crane operations while also providing fuel savings at sea by reducing Engine Load fluctuations in rough seas.
For each vessel, Wärtsilä will also supply the gearbox, the controllable pitch propeller (CPP), the bow and stern thrusters, air shaft seals, as well as the sterntube and bearings.
“These ships represent the next generation in heavy lift shipping. In addition to their technical capabilities, they will feature outstanding environmental performance and help guide shipping towards a greener future,” says Dr Martin Harren, Owner and CEO of SAL Heavy Lift.
“This is a well-proven, future-proofing solution that enables owners and operators to lower operating costs while complying with current and anticipated environmental regulations,” says Matthias Becker, Managing Director of Wärtsilä Germany.
The ships are scheduled for delivery in 2025 and will be used mainly to support wind farm installations. The first two ships will be exclusively involved in the transportation of offshore wind turbine components in a long-term commitment with Siemens Gamesa Renewable Energy.
Two additional sister vessels will enter the heavy lift shipping market to serve the clients of the Jumbo-SAL-Alliance in the first half of 2025.