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French polar vessel meets tough IMO emission limits

Written by Nick Blenkey
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The French Navy's patrol and polar logistic icebreaker, L'Astrolabe

JULY 21, 2017 — L’Astrolabe, a 72 m polar logistics recently launched by French shipbuilder Chantiers Piriou, is the first vessel to operate with IMO Tier III EIAPP (Engine International Air Pollution Prevention) certified Wärtsilä diesel engines.

The ship has been built for the French Southern and Antarctic Lands Administration. (Terre Australes et Antarctiques Françaises, or TAAF). It will be operated by the French Navy and will be used to transport personnel and supplies to the Dumont d’Urville research station in Antarctica.

The four IMO Tier III certified 8-cylinder Wärtsilä 20 diesel engines are combined with Wärtsilä NOR systems to be fully compliant with the IMO Tier III exhaust emission regulations set out in Annex VI of the MARPOL 73/78 convention. The IMO Tier III EIAPP certification was carried out according to Scheme B based on the requirements of IMO Resolution MEPC.198(62). The Tier III EIAPP certificates were issued by Bureau Veritas.

The full Wärtsilä scope of supply for this vessel comprises four Wärtsilä 20 main engines, two Wärtsilä controllable pitch propellers and shaft lines including Wärtsilä reduction gears, Wärtsilä NOR systems, and a Wärtsilä tunnel thruster.

SCR technology is currently the primary means for NOx abatement, and Wärtsilä’s NOR system is available for use with all Wärtsilä medium speed engines. The system enables vessels to be compliant with global NOx emission control area regulations. Furthermore, with the Wärtsilä NOR the overall performance of the engine and exhaust gas cleaning system is optimized in terms of emissions reduction, noise abatement and engine efficiency. Wärtsilä provides IMO and EPA Tier III certificates for its engines combined with a Wärtsilä NOR system.

“We have been pleased to deliver this combination of engines and SCR systems in the same scope of supply, and take full responsibility for exhaust gas emissions, performance, documentation, statutory approvals and certification,” says Juha Kytölä, Vice President, Environmental Solutions, Wärtsilä Marine Solutions. “Such packages are convenient for shipyards and ship operators, and triggered by IMO regulations are expected to be specified by an increasing number of shipyards and ship owners. The engine needs to be SCR compatible, and the SCR should be fit for purpose. It has been a pleasure to work with Chantiers Piriou

“For this type of vessel operating in the most challenging ice and weather conditions, the engine selection had to be carefully made. We know and respect Wärtsilä’s capabilities and technical know-how, and we are confident that we have made the best possible choice for this important vessel,” says Chantiers Piriou CEO Vincent Faujour.

L’Astrolabe will have accommodations for 60 persons, a cargo capacity of 1400 metric tons, and is fitted with a helideck large enough to accommodate two helicopters.


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