Wärtsilä has received a contract from Canadian shipowner Algoma Central to supply fresh water integrated scrubbers for installation in its six vessels with an option for a further two scrubbers.

The vessels are being built to transport bulk commodities on North America’s Great Lakes and St Lawrence Seaway.

Wärtsilä vice-president of ship power technology Juhani Hupli said these are truly important vessels as they will set new standards for environmentally sustainable shipping on the Great Lakes and on cargo vessels in general. “The scrubbers will allow the customer to operate these vessels using less costly high-sulphur fuel, yet still achieve the 0.1% sulphur emissions standard set by the International Maritime Organisation for North American Emission Control Areas,” Hupli said. “The Wärtsilä integrated scrubber solution removes more than 97% of sulphur oxide emissions.”

In addition to the integrated scrubber system, the company will also provide a complete solution that includes engineering support, highly fuel-efficient engines, propulsion machinery and a bilge water system. All the equipment will be supplied in co-operation with the company’s global licensee and joint-venture partners.

The integrated scrubbers are designed to clean the exhaust gases of the vessels’ main and auxiliary engines as well as the oil-fired boiler, thus enabling them to comply with current and forthcoming environmental regulations. The company said that the scrubber saves space and weight, preserving the vessel’s cargo deadweight capacity.

Algoma Central has ordered Equinox Class vessels to be built at the Nantong Mingde Heavy Industrial Stock Company shipyard in China, which will feature high environmental sustainability on their future work area on North America’s Great Lakes. The first vessel is scheduled to be delivered during the first half of 2013.

Algoma Central technical SVP Al Vanagas said, in addition to the environmental stipulations, another key focus for the company in renewing its fleet of older vessels has been to reduce the cost of maintenance. “Wärtsilä’s ability to provide both an integrated equipment package and global service support was, therefore, a major reason why the company has been selected by Algoma,” Vanagas said.

The company said that by using the fresh water scrubbers there is a possibility to operate in zero discharge mode, where no water is spilled to lake water when sailing in delicate waters. The new integrated scrubber system, which is suitable for all ship types, includes several components, which are then combined and arranged to clean the exhaust gases of several diesel engines and oil-fired boilers onboard.