Aasen Shipping orders first hybrid self-unloaders

Written by Nick Blenkey
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Self-discharging bulk carriers being built for Aasen Shipping will be the first of their kind to operate with hybrid propulsion. (Image copyright: Aasen Shipping)

Two 9,300 dwt self-unloading bulkers on order for Norway’s Aasen Shipping will be the first vessels of this type to feature hybrid propulsion. They will be fitted with excavators that will be electrically powered using the battery pack that is part of the hybrid solution.

Wärtsilä has been selected to provide the complete system design and full equipment scope for the ships, which are being built at the Royal Bodewes shipyard in the Netherlands. The yard has also designed the vessels.

Wärtsilä was contacted to determine whether a hybrid installation would be advantageous for the new ships. The company then carried out a detailed study in close cooperation with Aasen Shipping, taking into consideration a broad range of relevant factors. The study determined that the extra initial investment required for the battery installation would be more than offset by the high level of achievable fuel cost savings.

“Wärtsilä’s experience and strong track record with hybrid propulsion solutions form the background to this contract,” says Harald Tillung, Business Development Manager, Wärtsilä Marine. “As a complete hybrid system supplier, we have again custom designed a propulsion arrangement that delivers high efficiency, lower fuel consumption, and optimal environmental sustainability.”

“We approached Wärtsilä because of their capabilities in delivering hybrid propulsion systems.,” says Aasen Shipping CEO Torbørn Torkelsen. “We appreciate their support throughout the planning and design processes, which has resulted in the best possible solution for these vessels.”

The full Wärtsilä scope for each ship includes a Wärtsilä 26 main engine with gearbox and controlled pitch propeller (CPP), a DC switchboard, a battery pack, and a power management system. The equipment is scheduled to be delivered to the yard commencing in mid-2021.

Using the battery pack to power the excavators, which would usually be diesel operated, will both save fuel and eliminate emissions

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