Wartsila to Equip Finnlines’ Ferries with Hybrid Systems

Finland-based technology group Wärtsilä will supply its hybrid power conversion system for three new RoRo ferries being built at the Nanjing Jinling shipyard in China for Finnlines, a part of the Italian Grimaldi Group.

Image Courtesy: Wartsila

Wärtsilä won the order in Q4 2019.

The hybrid solution, which includes a 5,000 kWh energy storage system, will enable these ships to operate with zero emissions while in port and to meet the Registro Italiano Navale (RINA) Green Plus class notation. They will also have Ice Class classification 1A Super, the company said.

“Wärtsilä’s Smart Marine approach to technology development aims at delivering highly efficient solutions with minimal impact on the environment. This order is one more example of how we turn this approach into practical and reliable reality,” says Mikael Lindholm, Head of Newbuilding Department, Finnlines.

“These new ferries will be among the most environmentally sustainable ships of their type. Finnlines is a frontrunner in the development of hybrid power ships, of marine battery packs and of energy management systems,” Emanuele Grimaldi, CEO of Finnlines, commented.

Wärtsilä’s equipment, which also includes in-line shaft generators, power take-off/take in converters, and transformers, is scheduled for delivery to the yard in the second half of 2020.

Wärtsilä’s order intake for the fourth quarter of 2019 decreased by 17% to EUR 1.55 billion year-on-year. The company’s net sales increased by 10% to EUR 1.6 billion y-o-y.

Comparable operating result decreased to EUR 202 million when compared to the same period in 2018, which represents 12.0% of net sales. For the full year, order intake decreased 16% to EUR 5.3 billion year-on-year.

Net sales were stable at EUR 5.1 billion.

The company expects the demand for its services and solutions in 2020 to be lower than in 2019, amid low vessel contracting affecting equipment ordering activity as well as challenging market conditions.

Wärtsilä’s current order book for 2020 deliveries is EUR 3.57 billion, comprised mainly of equipment deliveries.

“The year 2019 was characterized by a difficult demand environment and poor financial performance. Although the increase in both marine equipment deliveries and service volumes resulted in stable net sales for the group, our operating result was well below the previous year,” Jaako Eskola, President and CEO the technology giant said.

“The performance was weakened in the second half of the year by cost overruns in a handful of complex marine and energy projects, which were caused by inaccurate assumptions in cost estimates, insufficient risk identification, and supplier related challenges. The decline in energy deliveries and the impact of the Industrial Union’s three-day strike in Finland during December further burdened our operating result.”

According to Eskola, the demand for scrubbers declined from exceptionally high levels in the previous year, as a result of uncertainty related to the price and availability of bunker fuels.

“The business environment is expected to continue to be challenging during the upcoming year. For this reason, we remain cautious on the demand outlook. Our focus will be on improving operational efficiency and on optimising our portfolio, with the aim of mitigating the near-term headwinds related to pricing and mix to the extent possible. Delivery of the projects affected by cost overruns will also weigh on our performance.

“However, I am confident that the steps we have taken to tighten controls on risk analysis and technical assessments, as well as to strengthen our project management organisation, will prevent similar issues from occurring in future projects.

“Looking further ahead, we see energy production and marine transport being greatly affected by the need to improve their environmental footprint.”