Marine technology company Wartsila has received an order to deliver liquefied natural gas (LNG) propulsion and storage systems for four new short-sea cargo vessels being built at the WuHu Shipyard in China.

The vessels are being constructed for the Netherlands-based Wijnne & Barends Chartering, a division of the Dutch Spliethoff Group.

The vessels will be the first ships of their type to be powered by LNG. Wartsila has developed a tailored solution for short-sea cargo ships with a naval architect and the ship owners.

The Wartsila LNGPac storage and supply system will be fitted below deck without reducing the cargo hold space.

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In addition, Wartsila’s Opti Design features are expected to improve propulsion efficiency. The solution aligns the propeller and HP nozzle to the hull of the vessel.

Wartsila’s Data Collection Unit (WDCU) will support integrated technologies with iCloud-based services.

The ships feature Wartsila 34DF dual-fuel main engine, Wartsila gearbox, Wartsila controlled pitch propeller (CPP) with HP nozzle and Wartsila LNGPac system.

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The company will deliver the equipment to the WuHu shipyard by the end of the year. The delivery of the first vessel is scheduled for the end of next year.

Wartsila Marine Sales Account Manager Luuk Hijlkema said: “Our recognised leadership in LNG technologies is again shown with this order.

“Wartsila’s expertise in delivering fully integrated systems and our emphasis on partnering with customers and other stakeholders to develop the optimal solution can lead to state-of-the-art vessels, as is we have here.”

Wijnne & Barends technical director Ad Toonen said: “Minimising our environmental footprint has long been a focal point for us, and the reduction of emissions is a fundamental part of this. The new vessels running on LNG fit well into our continuous drive for greener operations.”

The 5800 DWT lift-on, lift-off (LoLo) vessels will serve the Baltic and North Seas and be classified as Finnish / Swedish Ice Class 1A.