Wärtsilä propulsion for world’s largest aluminium catamaran powered by LNG

Finnish technology group Wärtsilä has been contracted to supply engines, waterjets, and fuel storage and supply system for a new high speed catamaran ferry powered by liquefied natural gas (LNG).

Courtesy of Wartsila
Courtesy of Wartsila

The vessel is being built at the Incat yard in Tasmania, Australia on behalf of Argentinian ferry operator Buquebus.

Having an overall length of 130 metres, a width of 32 metres and the capacity to carry 2,100 passengers and 226 cars, it will be the largest aluminium catamaran ever built by Incat.

The vessel will operate between Argentina and Uruguay with Wärtsilä’s 31 dual-fuel engine technology using primarily LNG fuel produced at Buquebus own LNG plant.

The vessel will also incorporate shaft e-motors powered via the main engine gearboxes taking further advantage of Wärtsilä’s LNG technology. With LNG, the minimised emissions of CO2, nitrous oxides (NOx), sulphur oxides (SOx) and particulate matter will make the ferry Tier III compliant and able to operate in emission control areas (ECAs).

“This … is the first time we will include Wärtsilä engines, and we are excited about the potential they provide. This will be the world’s largest and greenest vessel of its type, and we are very happy to be working with Wärtsilä to make the project a huge success,” Tim Burnell, Incat’s CEO, commented.

“This is indeed an exciting project. Our latest WXJ generation axial flow waterjets reduce the installation footprint on average by approximately 25 percent, compared to non-axial flow jet designs. They also give a higher power-to-weight ratio, and come with an advanced propulsion control system. Combining this with our highly efficient, fuel flexible engines, means that it is a truly future-proof investment,” Mikko Mannerkorpi, General Manager, Sales, Wärtsilä Marine Power, said.

The full scope of supply comprises four Wärtsilä 31DF dual-fuel engines, four Wärtsilä WXJ1500SR waterjets, and two Wärtsilä LNGPac fuel storage, supply and propulsion control systems.

The equipment will be delivered to the yard commencing in mid-2023.