Arctia to convert multi-function icebreakers to meet US EPA Arctic regs

NordicaFinland's Arctia Offshore is making a significant reduction in the flue gas emissions of the multi-function icebreakers Fennica and Nordica. The main engines – eight in all – of the two vessels will be equipped with catalysts and oxidation catalysts, plus the appropriate new exhaust pipe and stack constructions as well as urea systems. In addition, both vessels will be converted to enable the use of Ultra Low Sulfur Diesel fuel.

Arctia Offshore Ltd has ordered the entire modification project from Wärtsilä. Conversion work will be performed in Helsinki in two phases: structural modifications and the installation of the catalysts reactors will be carried out in December 2011, whereas commissioning and testing of the systems is scheduled for spring 2012.

When the work is completed, Fennica and Nordica will meet U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's (EPA) emissions requirements for operating in the delicate Arctic regions. In the future, these environmentally friendly vessels will be able to participate, for example, in arctic oil exploration projects.

Arctia Offshore VP Lauri Bäckman explains: "The conversion will significantly improve the competitiveness of Arctia Offshore's multi-purpose icebreakers in the sensitive Arctic market. Their Polar-10 classification and high lifting capacity, combined with these environmentally friendly engines, gives our vessels an advantage matched by none of our competitors."

Arctia Offshore Ltd is part of the Arctia Shipping Group and maintains three multi-purpose icebreakers In addition to icebreaking tasks in Finland, the vessels provide  support services to oil and gas industries around the world.

Arctia Shipping Ltd is a limited company owned by the state of Finland and specializes in icebreaking services, special services provided by multipurpose vessels, international freight shipping, ferry traffic in the Finnish archipelago and oil spill response operations.

Arctia's fleet consists of four conventional icebreakers, three multi-purpose icebreakers, one oil-recovery icebreaker and eleven vessels used for ferry service in the Finnish archipelago. Founded in 2010, Arctia Shipping Ltd carries on the business activities of the former Finnish state shipping enterprise Fintaship.

Wärtsilä says that the work on the Fennica  and Nordica will involve fitting the combined Wärtsilä NOR/OXI solution to the vessels' engines.

The Wärtsilä NOx Reducer is based on Selective Catalytic Reduction (SCR) technologies, and achieves a reduction in NOx emissions of 85-95 per cent. The new SCR product range caters for the needs of all four-stroke engines in Wärtsilä's portfolio, and is seamlessly integrated into the Wärtsilä engine control system. The units come with a complete prefabricated ancillary system.

Wärtsilä has gained considerable field experience in running SCR on its own engines in marine, as well as power plant applications, since the early 1990s. As a result of this experience, Wärtsilä has developed a standard selection of modularized SCRs under the Nitrogen Oxides Reducer (NOR) product name in close co-operation with a major catalyst manufacturer. The solution is designed to combine efficiency with minimal investment and operational costs.

The Wärtsilä Oxidation Catalyst oxidizes unburned components with the help of the residual oxygen in the flue gas, and forms carbon dioxide and water as end products.

"This represents yet another example of Wärtsilä's competence in designing integrated solutions that are both technically advanced and environmentally sustainable. The conversion work that we will carry out on these two offshore service vessels will not only reduce their environmental impact, but will notably enhance their operational capabilities by allowing them to work in the sensitive environment of the Arctic Ocean," says Leonardo Sonzio, Director Environmental Services, Wärtsilä.

October 24, 2011

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