EcoCoasters to have seawater lubed propeller shaft bearings

AUGUST 24, 2015 — The two biofuel powered 4,700 dwt coasters on order at Netherlands shipyard Royal Bodewes by Finland's Meriaura Group (see earlier story) will have seawater lubricated propeller shaft bearing systems.

Thordon Bearings' Swedish distributor, Duwel Sweden, has signed a contract with Caterpillar Propulsion for the supply and installation of Thordon Compac systems for the ships.

Each 4,700 dwt VG EcoCoaster, designed by Meriaura Group together with partners Foreship and Aker Arctic Technology, will feature Compac bearings, a Thordon Water Quality Package and a forward shaft seal in order to exceed current and anticipated environmental regulations.

Duwel Group's Sales Manager in Finland, Thomas Forsell, said: "We are delighted to have secured this order. Meriaura Group's new vessels have been specifically designed with the environment in mind and our Compac solution means these sophisticated ships will operate without the risk of operational oil leaking from the stern. The owner wanted the best possible technical solution and the Compac system together with the Thordon 15-year bearing wear-life guarantee is not only the best technical solution it's the most environmentally-safe one."

 "The EcoCoaster design is the most energy-efficient cargo ship of its class, underscored by some of the most energy-efficient designs and marine systems available," said Pekka Werdi, Meriaura's Technical Manager, Projects. "The revolutionary hull form minimizes drag, enhances the propeller wake field and optimizes the ratio between capacity and fuel consumption which, compared to similar vessels, helps us achieve our emissions reduction target. It would have made no sense to counter these environmental and efficiency gains with a propeller bearing system with a potential risk of leaking lubrication oil to sea. The Compac system not only removes this risk but reduces vessel operational costs without detriment to performance."

Meriaura's 2012-built special purpose vessel Meri was reportedly the world's first cargo ship to run on biofuel. The single screw VG EcoCoaster's dual fuel ABC 8DZC main engine will be capable of burning biofuel in addition to marine gas oil (MGO), while additional power for ice conditions will be provided by a diesel electric booster system.Delivery of the first ship is due at the end of July, 2016 with the second following in October 2016. They will be operated by Meriaura subsidiary, VG Shipping.

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