Wärtsilä has won its first contract in Europe for the deployment of its innovative HY 2 hybrid power modules, a solution allowing for hybrid electric operation of tugboats.
The new supply contract will see two Wärtsilä HY 2 hybrid power modules deployed on a new escort tugboat being manufactured for the port of Luleå in Sweden, located on the Gulf of Bothnia in the northern Baltic Sea.
The order was just booked (sometime in December 2017), with the new hybrid tugboat now slated to be launched in the early part of 2019. The tugboat — which is being built at GONDAN Shipbuilders in Asturias, Spain — represents, effectively, the firm’s deployment of Wärtsilä’s HY 2 hybrid power solution.
“The integrated hybrid functionality of this vessel will give us a bollard pull of up to 100 tons, while saving fuel and maintenance costs and producing emission levels some 20% less than from a conventional ship of this type and size. In other words, we shall have first-class performance in both its operation and its environmental impact. We are very pleased to be getting a tug that reflects the future needs of the industry,” commented Henrik Vuorinen, the Managing Director at the Port of Luleå.
The press release provides more: “It will be capable of operating on electrical battery power when in transit. Although it is configured as a mechanical set-up, the ’hybrid diesel-electric’ mode will allow the number of prime movers utilized to be reduced to just one for various operational tasks. These include ship assist with a bollard pull of up to 55 tons, or 90 tons on two main engines in diesel-mechanical mode. A bollard pull of 100 tons will be available when in boost mode.”
Owing to the fact that the Gulf of Bothnia is often frozen over during winter, the new 36-meter long escort tugboat will be outfitted so as to allow for ice-breaking work — with specs to allow for ice-breaking 1-meter-thick ice at a speed of up to 3 knots.