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Wärtsilä to install hybrid system on Viking Princess vessel

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LNG Industry,

Wärtsilä has announced that it has signed an agreement with Eidesvik Offshore to install a hybrid system with batteries on board its Viking Princess vessel.

The vessel will become the first offshore supply vessel to use batteries to decrease the number of on board generators. This new energy storage solution will help to improve the efficiency of the engine, leading to savings in fuel and a reduction in greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions.

The Viking Princess delivers supplies to oil rigs located in both the Barents Sea and the North Sea. It is five years old, and operates on four LNG-powered Wärtsilä engines. Depending on the ongoing task and weather conditions, the engine load varies between 90 and 20%.

This new energy storage solution replaces one of the vessel’s four generators, and can provide balancing energy to cover the peaks, resulting in a more stable load on the engines. Wärtsilä claims that, essentially, this is similar to the technology used in hybrid cars; it prevents the engine load from dipping and re-routs the surplus to charge a battery, which in turn can fill in when required.

Wärtsilä claims that, because the operating profile of supply vessels is variable, there is significant potential for fuel savings through improved engine efficiency. In the dynamic positioning mode, when the battery is used as power redundancy and the engine runs at its most efficient load, the fuel saving potential is 30%. Therefore, the Viking Princess is capable of reducing its CO2 emissions by 13 – 18% annually, depending on the exact operating conditions.

Vermund Hjelland, Vice President Technical development, Eidesvik Offshore, said: “Eidesvik and Wärtsilä have had a long and fruitful cooperation since 2003, when Viking Energy, the world’s first LNG driven supply vessel, was launched. The cooperation was developed further with the instalment of batteries to support the generators of Viking Lady in 2015. Now Viking Princess becomes the first offshore supply vessel, where one of its generators will be fully replaced with batteries. We are grateful to both Wärtsilä and the NCE Maritime Clean Tech, who made this important and progressive cooperation possible.

Enova SF – a Norwegian state enterprise, owned by the Ministry of Petroleum and Energy (MPE) – supported the project with 6.5 million Norwegian crowns to speed up sustainable energy production in the maritime sector. Wärtsilä claims that the new hybrid system will be installed in September 2017.

Cato Esperø, Sales Director, Wärtsilä Norway, said: “The Hybrid Energy System is a forward looking solution that not only reduces fuel consumption and emissions, but also contributes to safer and more efficient operations. We are confident that this project will have a positive effect on the industry. There is an increasing focus in shipping to reduce emissions and we believe that shipowners will continue to install hybrid solutions – both on existing vessels and new builds.”

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