Photo: Courtesy of Wasaline

Wärtsilä to upkeep Wasaline’s LNG-fueled ferry Aurora Botnia

The Finnish technology group Wärtsilä and the Finnish–Swedish ferry operator Wasaline have signed a ten-year optimised maintenance agreement for the Aurora Botnia LNG-powered ferry.

LNG; Wärtsilä to upkeep Wasaline's LNG-fueled ferry Aurora Botnia
Courtesy of Wasaline

The parties signed the deal back in June 2021, but it became effective only in September.

The Aurora Botnia is a 150-metre car and passenger ferry. It is able to run on both LNG and biogas (LBG), equipped with Wärtsilä engines. The ship’s propulsion is based on a hybrid solution featuring the Wärtsilä 31DF dual-fuel engine and batteries.

The Wärtsilä 31DF will also be able to use BioLNG, a totally renewable fuel that can reduce CO2 emissions by up to 90 per cent. It emits no particulate matter, and close to zero levels of nitrogen oxides (NOx) and sulphur oxides (SOx).

Marketed as the world’s most environmentally friendly RoPax ferry, it was built by Rauma Marine Constructions in Finland. It is the first car and passenger ferry in the world to meet the criteria of the Clean Design class notation.

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The Wärtsilä optimised maintenance agreement includes digital solutions based on artificial intelligence. This will provide predictive maintenance support and the ability to identify potential faults beforehand. It also makes it possible to tune the operation to achieve the lowest possible carbon footprint and minimise unscheduled downtime.

The vessel will act as a floating test laboratory linked to Wärtsilä’s Smart Technology Hub in Vaasa, Finland, allowing real-time operational monitoring.

In addition to the hybrid propulsion system, the ship also features Wärtsilä’s Data Bridge platform.

The Aurora Botnia will operate the route between the Finnish city of Vaasa and the Swedish city of Umeå.  Both ports will provide LNG bunkering facilities and battery charging capability.