Wärtsilä, the marine industry's leading solutions and services provider, has been awarded the contract to supply the gas powered propulsion machinery and corresponding gas storage and handling systems for a new passenger ferry. The vessel has been ordered by Canadian operator Société des traversiers du Québec (STQ), and will be the first North American ferry to be powered by liquefied natural gas (LNG). The ship is being built by Fincantieri Cantieri Navali Italiani in Italy and will be used on routes crossing the St. Lawrence River. The Wärtsilä contract was signed in October, 2012. The Wärtsilä equipment is due to be delivered in the autumn 2013, and the vessel is scheduled for delivery by the end of 2014.
The ferry is being built to comply with the stringent emission regulations applicable to its area of operation. With the Wärtsilä 34 dual-fuel generating sets, which will provide the main power generation, the stringent regulations will clearly be met. By operating on LNG, nitrogen oxide (NOx) emissions are at least 85% below those specified in the current International Maritime Organisation (IMO) regulations, and the CO2 emissions are some 25% less than those of a conventional marine engine running on diesel fuel. The sulphur oxide (SOx) and particle emissions are negligible at almost zero percent. This level of environmental sustainability even exceeds the emission reductions mandated by the strict local regulations. The IMO has designated some U.S. and Canadian waters as an Emissions Control Area (ECA). This is in line with the International Convention for the Prevention of Pollution from Ships (MARPOL). The North American ECA became enforceable in August 2012.
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