New Kootenay Lake ferry will feature hybrid power solution

Written by Nick Blenkey
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The new Kootenay Lake ferry will operate with Wärtsilä’s hybrid propulsion to minimize its environmental impact. [Image: © British Columbia Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure]

An 89 meter long double-ended car/passenger ferry being built at the at the Western Pacific Marine shipyard in Vancouver, B.C., will feature and advanced hybrid solution from Wärtsilä.

Capable of carrying 250 passengers and crew, as well as 61 automobile equivalents, the RO/RO ferry is being built for the British Columbia Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure and, when delivered in the second half of 2022, will serve the Balfour – Kootenay Bay route across Kootenay Lake.

The full scope of Wärtsilä’s supply includes two Wärtsilä 20 generator sets with selective catalytic reduction (SCR) systems, the Wärtsilä hybrid solution with a DC electrical system and batteries, the energy management system, and the vessel alarm and monitoring system. Wärtsilä will also supply the sewage treatment system and will be responsible for the integration of the various onboard systems. Delivery is scheduled for the second half of 2022.

By opting for the hybrid solution rather than a conventional propulsion arrangement, the operator will benefit from reduced fuel consumption and a far lower level of exhaust emissions. The minimized carbon footprint was cited as being extremely important for preserving the pristine environment in which the vessel will operate. An additional benefit is that through reducing the running hours of the engines, maintenance requirements and costs are also lowered.

“Wärtsilä was selected based on their experience, reputation, and know-how in developing, delivering, and supporting complex hybrid propulsion systems,” says Graham Clarke, president, Western Pacific Marine Ltd. “These capabilities are extremely important to us, and we very much appreciate and welcome Wärtsilä’s support throughout this project.”

“We are proud to be providing the integrated hybrid propulsion solution for the Kootenay Lake replacement ferry, and proud also to be playing our part in preserving the beautiful environment of this interior region of British Columbia,” says Dave Adams, Senior Sales Manager, Wärtsilä Canada. “The Wärtsilä Hybrid System is in full alignment with our Smart Marine approach towards raising sustainability levels for our customers. This solution is also upgradable to achieve zero-emission operations in the future.”

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