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LNG fueled research ship to have Wartsila engines

Written by Nick Blenkey
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Atair will replace existing vessel of the same name

AUGUST 1, 2017 — Atair, the new LNG fueled research vessel being built for the German government by shipbuilder Fassmer, will have Wärtsilä engines. Wärtsilä will also supply the vessel with exhaust cleaning systems based on selective catalytic reduction (SCR) technology and the LNGPac system for complete fuel gas handling. The SCR technology will be needed when the engines are running on conventional marine diesel fuel if the vessel exhausts its supply of LNG on long voyages.

The new 75 m long ship will replace her 30 year old namesake, and will be the first German research vessel operating on LNG fuel.  The new Atair will be owned by Bundesamt für Seeschifffahrt und Hydrographie (BSH), the Federal Maritime and Hydrographic Agency.

Wärtsilä will also supply the engines and SCR systems for three German Federal police boats to be built at the Fassmer yard.

The full scope of Wärtsilä’s supply for the Atair II is two 6-cylinder Wärtsilä 20DF dual-fuel engines capable of running on either LNG or conventional liquid fuels, one 6-cylinder Wärtsilä 20 engine, two exhaust cleaning systems, and a Wärtsilä LNGPac fuel storage, supply, and control system.

The dual fuel engines will have Tier III classification, as they with meet this classification when running in gas mode, and all the engines will be compliant when operating on diesel because of the Wärtsilä SCR systems.

All the engines will be double elastically mounted to minimize the noise. This special Wärtsilä technique will enable the ship to fulfil the DNVGL classification society’s “Silent R” rating, thus allowing the research vessel’s sonar equipment to be used without disturbance from underwater radiated engine noise.

“Our dual-fuel technology is unique when it comes to small bore medium speed engines, and the extended service intervals and economic fuel consumption of the Wärtsilä 20DF engine enable lower operating costs than is possible with high speed engines. We have worked closely with the Fassmer shipyard and are proud to have once again been selected to supply the machinery and equipment for this important project,” says Lars Anderson, Vice President, Engine Sales, Wärtsilä Marine Solutions.

“As the new Atair will be the first vessel in our fleet with LNG technology, we rely on the experience and expertise of Wärtsilä with respect to the engines and LNG tank equipment. With Wärtsilä’s dual-fuel and SCR technologies, the vessel will fulfil the IMO’s Tier III regulations in all operational conditions, whether sailing on LNG or on diesel fuel,” says Kai Twest, Head of Ships and Equipment Division at BSH.

The Wärtsilä equipment is scheduled to be delivered to the yard in mid-2018, and the vessel will enter service in early 2020.

Previously, Wärtsilä has supplied double elastically mounted main engines equipped with SCR’s for the Sonne — a deep sea research vessel also owned by the German government. The vessel is operating very successfully in terms of being booked by scientists for research programs due to its modern and environmentally friendly equipment, an endorsement of Wärtsilä’s reputation as a provider of high grade technological and ecologically sound products and solutions.

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