Wärtsilä to design new ferry for Gulf of Bothnia link

AUGUST 4, 2014 — Wärtsilä has been selected to design a new ferry that will be a key part of an EU sponsored project intended to strengthen transportation links between Finland and Sweden. The ferry is designed for sailing between Vaasa in Finland and Umeå in Sweden across the Gulf of Bothnia in the Baltic Sea. The scope of Wärtsilä's work under the new contract will be both initial and basic design.

The new vessel is required to be innovative, efficient and environmentally sound. Wärtsilä's track record in innovative solutions and technology along with its extensive experience in gas fueled propulsion were important factors in winning the contract.

The design will take into account the need for operational flexibility as transportation demands on this route vary from season to season. Though the demand for cargo transport is quite stable throughout year, passenger traffic peaks in summer. During peak periods the ferry will run to a tighter schedule than is required at other times when the speed can be reduced to save fuel costs.

Ice conditions during winter months can be quite severe and therefore the design must alsoc onsider operations during harsh winters.

"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," says Mathias Lindström, Director, Kvarken Council and Project Leader for the Midway Alignment of the Bothnian Corridor project.

"This is an important project and we are proud to have been selected as the design partner responsible for developing the ship design. Integrated solutions for gas fuelled vessels represents a key focus area for Wärtsilä, and is one where we clearly have a leading role in the global market. As a first step, the initial design will be finalized whereby we can start making more precise budgets and develop the project further," says Magnus Miemois, Vice President, Ship Power Solutions at Wärtsilä.

The ship design phase is scheduled to be finalized by the end of the second quarter in 2015.