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Wärtsilä providing HY hybrid modules for Swedish port tug; first vessel operating with Wärtsilä HY solution

The technology group Wärtsilä will two Wärtsilä HY 2 hybrid power modules for a new escort tug being built for the Swedish port of Luleå located on the Gulf of Bothnia in the northern end of the Baltic Sea. The vessel is being built at GONDAN Shipbuilders, in Asturias, Spain, and the order with Wärtsilä was booked in December 2017. When launched in early 2019, it will become the first vessel operating with a Wärtsilä HY solution. (Earlier post.)

The Wärtsilä HY solution will bring environmental benefits, as well as operational and flexibility advantages that result in considerable economic gains. It will be capable of operating on 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.


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 percent 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.

—Henrik Vuorinen, Managing Director, Port of Luleå

The vessel will be capable of being completely independent from additional charging facilities, since re-charging of the energy storage system will be automatically managed by the Energy Management System, the “brain” of the Wärtsilä HY.

In addition, the installed onshore electrical connection will give the tug the flexibility to re-charge the energy storage system, even when the tug is berthed at the quay. The Wärtsilä HY product’s operational flexibility will yield significant fuel, emissions, and maintenance cost savings.

We expect to see the Wärtsilä HY 2 hybrid power module becoming the new technological benchmark for tug propulsion systems given its clear economic, operational, and environmental benefits.

—Giulio Tirelli, Director, Marine Engineering, Wärtsilä Marine Solutions

Since the Gulf of Bothnia is typically frozen over in winter, the 36-meter tug will be capable of ice-breaking operations and able to handle one-meter-thick ice at a speed of up to 3 knots. The Wärtsilä HY is designed to cope with these harsh conditions.

The Wärtsilä HY scope includes an energy management system that optimizes the combined use of the engines, the energy storage systems, and the power distribution train. The mechanical machinery part is based on two Wärtsilä 26 engines. The Wärtsilä scope also includes the tug’s integrated automation and alarm system. The equipment is scheduled to be delivered to the yard during summer 2018.


The new escort tug being built for the Swedish port of Luleå will be powered by two Wärtsilä HY 2 hybrid power modules. Click to enlarge.

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