Finnish marine technology group Wartsila and CSSC Huangpu Wenchong Shipbuilding Company have signed a development deal for hybrid ship construction.

According to the five-year agreement, both companies will focus on developing a hybrid-powered dredger.

The deal has an option to extend the contract and develop other hybrid vessels.

Helsinki-based shipping firm said that the agreement aims to encourage collaboration for the research and development of hybrid power systems.

During the design and construction phase, Wartsila will provide Huangpu Wenchong with technology innovations, performance calculations, system selection and other long-term services.

Wartsila Offshore and Special Vessels director Henrik Wilhelms said: “Collaboration with industry partners is at the very core of Wartsila’s Smart Marine approach to raising efficiencies and eliminating waste throughout the shipping sector.

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“This is one more example of this philosophy, and we look forward to cooperating with Huangpu Wenchong to create hybrid-powered vessels that will benefit the industry by lowering costs and benefit the planet by reducing greenhouse gas emissions.”

The preliminary focus will be to develop a hopper dredger, which is a vessel that the shipyard already builds. Then, the partners will conduct an assessment to decide the most suitable hybrid solution for that class of dredgers.

CSSC Huangpu Wenchong Shipbuilding Company chief engineer Li Dong said: “We are very happy to be cooperating in this project with Wartsila, a proven technology innovator and industry leader in hybrid solutions for the marine industry.”

Last week, Wartsila reached an agreement to integrate Silverstream Technologies’ air lubrication system into its propulsion solutions.

Last month, Wartsila signed a letter of intent (LoI) with Singapore-based PSA Marine to jointly develop smart technology for the marine sector.