OCTOBER 24, 2014 — Classification society DNV-GL has approved the design of the Wärtsilä WST-14 thruster, indicating that the design fully complies with classification rules.
This is an exceptional case since the approval has been granted based on a thruster design that has yet to be introduced into full series production.
Wärtsilä introduced its next generation thrusters at the end of last year and the new WST-14 is part of the Wärtsilä Steerable Thruster (WST) compact series, which is aimed primarily at tugs, anchor handling vessels, and coastal and inland waterway cargo vessels.
Key benefits of the series include superior performance, easy installation, a high level of integration, and ice class compatibility. The series is also designed to comply with the latest environmental regulations, such as the US EPA VGP 2013 requirements.
The early DNV-GL approval of the Wärtsilä WST-14 prototype design provides evidence of the integrity of the product design, and is an important step towards full type approval. This approval also confirms that the design calculations meet the classification society's requirements regarding standard operations, as well as for operations in ice conditions (ice class certification). Type approval means that the thruster will not have to be certified for each individual vessel or hull number and, for the newest WST portfolio, Wärtsilä has begun the process towards type approval from the earliest possible moment. It is estimated that the certification will produce savings that can be counted in millions of euros, as well as considerable reductions in production time.
"The fact that the WST-14 thruster design has been already approved will serve as an assurance to the customer that he is buying a product that already meets classification requirements," says Wim Knoester, Director, Sales & Project Management, Propulsion Business Line, Wärtsilä Ship Power. "Furthermore, the approval emphasizes the design quality of our entire new thruster portfolio, and is a clear signal to the market of the robustness built into each Wärtsilä thruster
A prototype of the Wärtsilä WST-14 thruster is being built at the company's dedicated manufacturing facilities in Wuxi, China, and will be shipped to Tuusula, Finland for testing and validation at the Wärtsilä Propulsion Test Center.