Wärtsilä has developed propulsion systems that operate with environmentally acceptable lubricants (EALs), meeting the US Vessel General Permit 2013 (VGP-2013).

The VGP-2013 issued by the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) instructs vessels operating in US waters to use EALs in all oil-to-sea interfaces, unless technically unfeasible.

Wärtsilä ship power propulsion vice-president Arto Lehtinen said: "Wärtsilä is once again proud to demonstrate its technical leadership with this breakthrough compliance with important US legislation.

"Vessels with VGP-2013-compliant Wärtsilä propulsion solutions will be allowed to operate freely in US coastal waters, as the environmentally advanced systems eliminate the possibility of mineral oil spills into the sea."

Wärtsilä has made modifications to various elements of propulsion systems, including the seals, hydraulics and oil monitoring systems.

"The environmentally advanced systems eliminate the possibility of mineral oil spills into the sea."

The VGP-2013-compliant propulsion package will be equipped with four BigRoll MC-class module carriers currently under construction at the COSCO shipyard in Dalian, China.

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Delivery will include Wärtsilä main engines, tunnel thrusters (WTT) and controllable pitch propeller systems (WCPs).

These 173m-long new-builds will be deployed to serve onshore energy projects and offshore transportation requirements. Its design features high ballasting capacity, low fuel consumption, high service speed and better sea-keeping behaviour.

Wärtsilä started working on the new propulsion systems in 2013 and EALs have since been extensively tested with the company’s steerable thrusters at the Wärtsilä Propulsion Test Centre in Tuusula, Finland.

Image: BigRoll MC-class carrier vessels. Photo: courtesy of Wärtsilä.