On the day when the UK Channel 4 Television Despatches programme broadcast its homespun and somewhat inconclusive investigation into sewage discharges and exhaust sulphur oxides (SOx) particulate emissions from older cruise ships. Wärtsilä shipyard who failed to renew their long association with the design and build of the new generation Royal Caribbean fleet (the contract going to a French yard), has today announced it has won a contact to provide a number of solutions for three new 2,800 passenger cruise vessels being built for Virgin Voyages at Fincantieri.
The order for Wärtsilä engines, hybrid exhaust cleaning scrubber systems, and selective catalytic reduction (SCR) systems was booked in 2016, while the order for the Wärtsilä integrated navigation systems was booked in March 2017.
The ships will each be powered by two eight-cylinder and two twelve-cylinder Wärtsilä 46F engines. The technologically advanced Wärtsilä 46F engine represents best-in-class fuel economy, and outstanding power-to-weight and power-to-space ratios, the company said.
"The Wärtsilä Hybrid Scrubber System selected for these vessels has the flexibility to operate in both open and closed loop modes using seawater to remove sulphur oxides (SOx) from the exhaust. Significant reductions in the emissions of nitrogen oxides (NOx) and particulates will be made possible by the Wärtsilä SCR system. Wärtsilä will also handle the commissioning of the engines and scrubber systems in cooperation with the shipyard," said a statement.
Navigation and automation controls for the vessels will be handled by the Wärtsilä's Nacos Platinum solution. By integrating various control and monitoring systems, such as those for navigation, automation, emergency shutdown, flood detection, plus power and propulsion, the vessels can be operated homogenously from various onboard positions. [We'd pay good money to see the Captain driving the ship from the theatre stage during the 'Welcome on Board show' :Ed.]
"It is an honour for Wärtsilä to have been selected to provide such a comprehensive range of solutions for this high profile travel business brand now entering the cruise sector. It represents further endorsement of the quality of our offering and the benefits of our capabilities as a single-source supplier," said Fred Danska, Director, Cruise Business, Wärtsilä Marine Solutions.
"We are very pleased to be able to partner Wärtsilä for our first series of ships. Their technical expertise, commitment to supporting our sustainability goals, and excellent reputation made them the best choice for us. Virgin Voyages is committed to creating a sea change [SIC], Wärtsilä shares our vision and will help make it a reality," noted Stuart Hawkins, Senior Vice President, Marine & Technical, Virgin Voyages.
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