Wartsila Corporation: Delivering Controllable Pitch Propellers for Stena’s Eco-Friendly Ro-Pax Vessel

Wartsila Corporation, Trade press release, April 15, 2024, at 11 AM EEST 

Wartsila Corporation, Trade press release, April 15, 2024, at 11 AM EEST  

Technology group Wärtsilä has designed and delivered controllable pitch propellers for Stena’s new Ro-Pax vessel, Ala’suinu, which has successfully completed sea trials. Following these sea trials, Ala’suinu became the first Ro-Pax vessel to fulfil the DNV Silent (E) notation, satisfying the criteria in the operating conditions at 11 and 18 knots. This environment class notation from DNV was introduced to protect sensitive marine ecosystems, applying to vessels that demonstrate the ability to effectively reduce emissions of underwater radiated noise.

The Ala’suinu, which was built at CMJL Shipyard (Weihai) in China, is under a 5-year lease to Marine Atlantic, a Canadian operator based in the province of Newfoundland & Labrador. Environmental sustainability was a prime consideration in the design of the 203-meter-long ship, which will sail between Nova Scotia and the island of Newfoundland in June 2024.

“The Ala’suinu is a specially designed vessel for Marine Atlantic. We are fully committed to reducing the environmental impact of our operations, and in this vessel, another dimension of sustainability has been added. The dedicated Wärtsilä propeller design enables us to minimise underwater noise for the benefit of marine life off Canada’s coasts,” says Captain Anderson Noel, Marine Atlantic’s Director of Fleet Operations.

“With this notation, Stena and Wärtsilä are showcasing their commitment to taking proactive steps to reduce shipping’s environmental footprint. Despite Ro-Pax being a challenging ship type from an underwater noise perspective, this innovative machinery configuration has enabled a propulsion plant with sufficiently low noise emissions to satisfy our voluntary class notation Silent(E),” adds oystein Solheim Pettersen, Head of Section, Noise and Vibration – DNV.

During the design process of the controllable pitch propeller, Wärtsilä’s industry-leading in-house design experts paid special attention to underwater radiated noise as a key design parameter. This was done without compromising on other important propeller design requirements, such as ensuring optimal performance and efficiency, for example. As well as reducing emissions of underwater radiated noise, Wärtsilä’s propeller ensures that owners and operators gain the benefits of lower operating costs and a reduced environmental footprint through less fuel consumption and fewer exhaust emissions.

Wärtsilä Marine in brief

Wärtsilä Marine is a global pioneer in power, propulsion and lifecycle solutions for the marine market. We develop industry-leading technologies, advancing maritime’s transition to new fuels. We support building an end-to-end digital ecosystem where all vessels and ports are connected. Ultimately, Wärtsilä Marine is driving the shipping industry forward on its journey towards a decarbonised and sustainable future through our broad portfolio of engines, propulsion systems, hybrid technology, exhaust treatment, shaft line solutions and digital technologies, as well as integrated powertrain systems. Our offering, which is underpinned by our performance-based agreements, upgrades, lifecycle solutions, and decarbonization services, as well as an unrivalled global network of maritime expertise, delivers the efficiency, reliability, safety, and environmental performance needed to support a safe and sustainable future for our customers, our communities and our planet.

Wärtsilä, in brief

Wärtsilä is a global leader in innovative technologies and lifecycle solutions for the marine and energy markets. We emphasise innovation in sustainable technology and services to help our customers continuously improve environmental and economic performance. Our dedicated and passionate team of 17,800 professionals in more than 280 locations in 79 countries shape the decarbonisation transformation of our industries across the globe. In 2023, Wärtsilä’s net sales totalled EUR 6.0 billion. Wärtsilä is listed on Nasdaq Helsinki.

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