Wärtsilä to power German Government's new LNG-fuelled research ship


Wärtsilä has won a contract to provide engines for a new LNG-powered research vessel being built for Germany's Federal Maritime and Hydrographic Agency, Bundesamt für Seeschifffahrt und Hydrographie (BSH).

The new vessel, Atair, is currently under construction at the Fassmer shipyard in Germany. It will measure approximately 75m in length and is set to replace its 30-year-old namesake.

Atair will also be the first German research vessel to operate on LNG fuel.

Wärtsilä will supply two 6-cylinder 20DF dual-fuel engines under the new deal, which are capable of running on either LNG or conventional liquid fuels.

Additionally, one 6-cylinder Wärtsilä 20 engine, two exhaust cleaning systems based on selective catalytic reduction (SCR) technology, as well as an LNGPac fuel storage, supply and control system will also be delivered as part of the arrangement.

Delivery of the Wärtsilä equipment is scheduled to be completed by next year, while Atair is planned to enter service by early 2020.

"The extended service intervals and economic fuel consumption of the Wärtsilä 20DF engine enable lower operating costs than is possible with high-speed engines."

Wärtsilä Marine Solutions Engine sales vice-president Lars Anderson said: “Our dual-fuel technology is unique when it comes to small-bore, medium-speed engines, and the extended service intervals and economic fuel consumption of the Wärtsilä 20DF engine enable lower operating costs than is possible with high-speed engines.”

BSH will be able to comply with the International Maritime Organisation’s (IMO) Tier III regulations in all operational conditions by using the Wärtsilä engines and the exhaust cleaning systems, including when sailing on LNG or on diesel fuel.

The engines will be double-elastically mounted on the vessel to minimise noise levels during operation.

Wärtsilä previously supplied double-elastically mounted main engines equipped with SCR’s for ‘Sonne’, a deep sea research vessel owned by the German Government.


Image: Rendering of the Atair, the first vessel in the BSH fleet with LNG technology. Photo: courtesy of Wärtsilä.