Wärtsilä has been awarded a contract to support the designing of a new ferry as part of the European Union-sponsored Midway Alignment of the Bothnian Corridor project.
The contract includes both initial and basic designs of the ferry, which is proposed for sailing between Vaasa in Finland and Umeå in Sweden across the Gulf of Bothnia in the Baltic Sea.
Kvarken Council director and Midway Alignment of the Bothnian Corridor project lead Mathias Lindström said: "The project has been initiated to develop a multi-modal logistics corridor across the Gulf of Bothnia.
"The planning and design of the new ferry is one of the key activities in the project. Feasibility and environmental sustainability are essential cornerstones, and Wärtsilä’s experience and expertise will contribute greatly to achieving a successful solution."
Wärtsilä Ship Power Solutions vice-president Magnus Miemois said: "Integrated solutions for gas-fuelled vessels represent a key focus area for Wärtsilä, and are one where we clearly have a leading role in the global market.
"As a first step, the initial design will be finalised whereby we can start making more precise budgets and develop the project further."
The design is required to take into account the need for operational flexibility since the transport demands on the ferry’s proposed route vary from season to season.
In addition, ice conditions during winter months can be quite severe hence the design work should also consider the operations during harsh winters.
The ship design phase is scheduled to be finalised by the end of the second quarter in 2015.
Image: An artistic impression of environmentally sound Gulf of Bothnia ferry. Photo: © 2014 Wärtsilä.