The technology group Wärtsilä is introducing a new portfolio of tug designs, to be known as the Wärtsilä HYTug series, with the emphasis on environmental sustainability. Since they typically operate in or close to harbours and populated areas, tugs are particularly affected by environmental considerations, and the need for regulatory compliance is an increasing concern for tug owners and operators worldwide.
Wärtsilä has already introduced tug designs featuring liquefied natural gas (LNG) fuel technology as an efficient means for complying with environmental legislation. The company has long been at the forefront in developing technologies that have enabled LNG to become a viable marine fuel, and the Wärtsilä LNGTug designs reflect this experience.
These latest designs have been developed utilising Wärtsilä’s strong competences in hybrid propulsion technology, along with the company’s extensive experience with more than 1000 tugs built based on Wärtsilä’s ship designs.
The recently introduced Wärtsilä HY hybrid propulsion solution forms the basis of the new designs, the benefits of which include the flexibility and efficiency provided by the technology. Notably, the enhanced efficiency enables the total installed main engine power to be less than with conventional designs. Using less engine power also decreases exhaust emission levels and, therefore, the environmental impact. It also reduces the fuel bill and lessens the amount of engine maintenance needed, which again adds to the cost savings.
«We believe that new tugs will in future rely more and more on battery and hybrid propulsion, which very well complements today’s operational requirements. As a total solutions provider with unmatched in-house capabilities combining ship design, engine technology, propulsion, and electrical and automation systems, Wärtsilä is uniquely qualified to produce tug designs that fully meet the needs of the industry, and this we have now done,» says Riku-Pekka Hägg, Vice President, Ship Design, Wärtsilä Marine Solutions.
The designs feature a very distinctive outlook while providing the power and manoeuvrability for practical tug operations. They have been optimised for low hull resistance, high towing / escort performance, sea-keeping, crew safety and comfort, as well as for easy maintenance. Each design has the option to select either diesel mechanical hybrid, or diesel electric hybrid propulsion, and the designs cover a 40 to 90 ton bollard pull range with the appropriate Wärtsilä equipment.
The new tugs are designed with thrusters from the Wärtsilä WST series featuring large propeller diameters for efficient and high performance propulsion. In addition to their excellent hydrodynamics and reliability, these thrusters are also easy to install, operate, and maintain.
The development work has been carried out in close cooperation with the ABS, BV and Lloyds Register classification societies, and the designs have received Approval-in-Principle (AiP) certification. This certification means that the design complies with class safety regulations and will be class approved in actual projects. The Wärtsilä HY solution has itself received AiP certification from the Lloyds Register classification society.
The new designs will be launched at the Asian Tug Technology and Salvage conference being held in Singapore on September 18 and 19.