he technology group Wärtsilä has received its first order for newbuild methanol-fuelled engines. A new Offshore Wind Installation Vessel (WIV) being built for Dutch contracting company Van Oord at Yantai CIMC Raffles shipyard in China will be powered by five Wärtsilä 32 engines capable of operating with methanol.

The order, which includes the methanol fuel supply system, was placed in November 2021, with delivery of the equipment scheduled for early 2023.

The methanol engine order extends Wärtsilä’s leading position in support of the maritime industry’s decarbonisation ambitions, and in the use of the fuel. Wärtsilä has over half a decade’s experience with methanol, having converted the first of four engines on Stena Germanica to use the fuel in 2015.

“We see methanol as one of the alternatives to meet the industry’s goals to reduce its environmental impact,” said Harold Linssen, Project Director, Van Oord. “We are pleased to be the pioneer of Wärtsilä’s latest methanol-fuelled engine technology.”

‘Green’ methanol is among the potential and most promising future fuel candidates. It is made using hydrogen from renewable-sourced electricity and recaptured carbon. The benefits of methanol are that it is relatively inexpensive to produce, is widely available, and easy to store. Furthermore, the global supply infrastructure is already established.

In line with its strategy to meet future development needs through collaboration with key stakeholders, Wärtsilä recently signed a long-term strategic cooperation agreement with Chinese shipyard Yantai CIMC Raffles.

The cooperation is aimed at the design and development of future-proof solutions for newbuild vessels. This will include the use of future carbon-free fuels and other integrated technology solutions.

During the coming few years, Wärtsilä will commercialise engine technologies that allow the use of all alternative fuels currently under discussion. Given the modularity of modern engines, this means that owners can already today future-proof their existing assets and plan for the use of new fuels as and when they become available.

Wärtsilä will also supply a package of leading-edge thrusters to the Van Oord vessel for efficient station keeping. This marks the seventh order for Wärtsilä thrusters for WTIVs in 2021 and highlights the company’s leading position in the offshore wind segment.

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