UK-based ferry operator Wightlink is to install Wärtsilä's hybrid battery technology for its new ferry currently being built at Cemre shipyard in Turkey. 

The new range of equipment is intended to improve efficiency, as well as reduce exhaust emissions and lower the noise level. The vessel will also use conventional fuel.

Wärtsilä will deliver battery equipment from next year onwards and the vessel will enter service in 2018.

Wightlink operations director Elwyn Dop said: “Wightlink carries more than four and a half million passengers each year and is the leading cross-Solent ferry company connecting the south coast of England with the Isle of Wight.

“Our new vessel will be Wightlink's flagship, and we thank Wärtsilä for their close cooperation in this project.”

Wärtsilä’s hybrid battery solution includes four six-cylinder Wärtsilä 20 generating sets, as well as electrical and automation (E&A) systems, and a sanitary discharge system.

The contracted E&A systems feature an integrated automation system (IAS), a power and energy management system (PMS/EMS), and a 690V main switchboard.

"Wightlink carries more than four and a half million passengers each year."

Once completed, Wightlink’s new ferry will include two fixed vehicle decks to hold the equivalent of 178 cars and will have space for more than 1,000 passengers.

As well as the propulsion machinery, E&A systems and sewage treatment, Wärtsilä will also provide technical and project management, as well as solution integration engineering services.

Wärtsilä has been providing environmentally sustainable propulsion solutions for shipping with the launch of engines capable of running on LNG, ethylene and bio-fuels.

The company’s hybrid system includes the use of both conventional marine engines and batteries.

Image: New Wightlink ferry design and sketch of the Wightlink ferry loading at the Fishbourne terminal, Isle of Wight. Photo: courtesy of Wärtsilä.