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Tuesday, February 9, 2021 

Wärtsilä is to deliver its advanced hybrid solution for a new Ro-Ro ferry being built for the British Columbia Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure at the Western Pacific Marine shipyard, to serve the Balfour – Kootenay Bay route across Kootenay Lake.

By opting for Wärtsilä’s Hybrid Solution rather than a conventional propulsion arrangement, the operator will benefit from reduced fuel consumption and a lower level of exhaust emissions. The minimised carbon footprint was cited as being extremely important for preserving the environment in which the vessel will operate. An additional benefit is that through reducing the running hours of the engines, maintenance requirements and costs are also lowered.

Graham Clarke, President, Western Pacific Marine, said: "Wärtsilä was selected based on their experience, reputation, and know-how in developing, delivering, and supporting complex hybrid propulsion systems. These capabilities are extremely important to us, and we very much appreciate and welcome Wärtsilä’s support throughout this project.”

“We are proud to be providing the integrated hybrid propulsion solution for the Kootenay Lake replacement ferry, and proud also to be playing our part in preserving the beautiful environment of this interior region of British Columbia. The Wärtsilä Hybrid System is in full alignment with our Smart Marine approach towards raising sustainability levels for our customers. This solution is also upgradable to achieve zero emission operations in the future,” said Dave Adams, Senior Sales Manager, Wärtsilä Canada.

The full scope of Wärtsilä’s supply includes two Wärtsilä 20 generator sets with SCR systems, the Wärtsilä Hybrid Solution with a DC electrical system and batteries, the energy management system, and the vessel alarm and monitoring system. Wärtsilä will supply the sewage treatment system and will be responsible for the integration of the various onboard systems. Delivery is scheduled for the second half of 2022.

The 89m long double-ended ferry will be capable of carrying 250 passengers and crew, as well as 61 automobile equivalents (AEQs). The British Columbian government already operates two ferries powered by Wärtsilä 20 engines.

By combining marine electrical, automation and engine technology, Wärtsilä has developed a single integrated hybrid power module that combines engines, an energy storage system, and power electronics optimised by a  sophisticated, energy management system (EMS). The EMS functions as the ‘brain’ in the Wärtsilä Hybrid System optimising energy flow between the different power sources, storage and consumers to achieve optimum efficiency.

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