Finland's maritime industry continues to push the envelope of innovation, offering a plethora of advanced vessels, products and systems to the world. The Finnish maritime industry is perhaps best characterized by the specialty vessels, products and services its companies provide. The country's maritime industry is invariably tied closely to the passenger vessel market, and Finnish companies design, build and equip some of the most technically advanced and luxurious cruise ships and ferries in the world.
The equipment supply and subcontractor infrastructure is well developed, and is a major factor in helping to keep the country at the forefront of passenger vessel development. The following offers a synopsis of significant activities during the past year.
More Than Cruise ships While the passenger vessel segment is of obvious importance, it does not fully represent the capabilities of the overall industry.
Finnish yards and suppliers are well-regarded for partaking in the most advanced commercial projects. The main shipyard players are Kvaerner Masa-Yards (KMY) New Helsinki Shipyard and Turku New Shipyard, as well as Finnyards. These companies have established themselves as building experts of niche, technically advanced ships.
An example of this is Mubaraz (pictured above), which was the first of a four LNG carrier, $1 billion+ order for the Kvaerner Masa- Yards' New Turku Shipyard. Mubaraz and its sistership, Mraweh., embody a host of proprietary Finnish technologies. Aside from that, Mubaraz has the distinction of being the largest ship ever built in Finland.
The second of the four LNG carriers for Abu Dhabi National Oil Co. (newbuilding No. 1331) was delivered in early June. The 135,000-cu.- m. carrier Mraweh is one of the largest LNG carriers in the world. The LNG cargo containment system is based on the Kvaerner Mosstype spherical aluminum tank concept, and these LNG carriers are the first 135,000-cu.-m. capacity carriers with only four spherical cargo tanks. The tank manufacturing method was developed at the Turku New Shipyard. The LNG vessel gets its propulsion power from its own cargo, as boil-off gas is burned in steam boilers.
Much design work for the series was focused on ship operation costs, including improved fuel economy, seakeeping performance and maneuverability. The ship's slender hull form is of a new low resistance type, and early operation reports from Mubaraz and Mraweh have proven these goals have been met. The Turku yard has offers a series of different sized LNG carriers (from 45,000 to 180,000-cu.- m.) to meet diversified customer demands.
Passenger Ship Expertise Finnyards, meanwhile, has been busy finishing the new series of HSS (high speed service) vessels for Stena. Stena Explorer — the first of three HSS 1500 craft, 415.4 x 131.2-ft. (126.6 x 40-m) sisterships from Finnyards in Rauma — is powered by a gas turbine system designed and supplied by Norway's Kvaerner Energy, and utilizes a General Electric (GE) aeroderivative gas turbine. The HSS can reportedly carry 1,500 passengers and 375 cars, and is designed to operate at 40 knots in seas of 16.4 ft. (5 m), due to its gas turbine propulsion system. The vessel is widely considered a quantum leap into the future of ferry travel. Its 4,000-cu.-m. deck allows for the type of facilities normally available only on larger, more conventional ferries.
On the cruise ship front, Kvaerner Masa-Yards' Turku New Shipyard delivered the luxury "club" cruise ship Aida to Germany's Deutsche Seereederei Touristik earlier this summer. The 1,186-passenger ship will alternate its itinerary between the Mediterranean and the Caribbean. Significantly, Aida is the first cruise ship built by KMY for a German owner. If performance counts, the yard should get followup orders, as the vessel was designed and built in less than 22 months from the signing of the contract. This, the yards claims, is due to efficiencies among all parties, including the owner, suppliers and Germanischer Lloyd, the classification society. The 38,600-gt ship is powered with four MAN 6L48/60 medium speed main engines, with a total power of 21,720 kW, driving two KaMeWa CP propellers via MAAG reduction gears. The electric power is provided by three 3,500 kVA ABB alternators driven by three Wartsila Vasa 8R32 D diesel engines. The ship has two semibalanced spade rudders, two 1,000- kW KaMeWa bowthrusters, and Blohm + Voss fin stabilizers. Another pair of cruise ships on order at KMY, Carnival Cruise's Elation and Paradise, will feature the Azipod propulsion system, a system which received acclaim upon its installation on a pair of tankers operating in the Arctic, Uikku and Lunni. The Azipod system was chosen for the cruise ships to save fuel and add maneuverability. In addition, the space which is now available — because the propeller motors and shaft lines are now outside of the ship — will be used for freshwater tanks and increased waste treatment capacity. As of the beginning of August, the steel work for the azipods was completed, and production of the units has proceeded according to schedule. Elation will have its azipods fitted next spring.
Designs On Safety & Efficiency Recently, the Refrigeration section of MacGregor's newly formed Passenger Ship Division contracted the modernization and upgrading of the provision stores for Princess Cruises' vessels Island Princess and Pacific Princess. MacGregor delivered and installed new provision stores (M&F insulation panels) to replace the existing stores which no longer complied with USPH (U.S. Public Health) requirements.
MacGregor's Passenger Ship Division consolidates the activities of the previous Elevator and Refrigeration Divisions of the MacGregor Group in the passenger ship market.
MacGregor's modular prefabricated panel system was specified for the new stores, as it was considered more economical and faster to install within the existing rooms. All drawings, calculations and co-ordination were carried out by MacGregor. The work was executed for Island Princess in Genoa, Italy, and for Pacific Princess in Singapore. The MacGregor Group operates through 30 companies in 25 major shipping and shipbuilding countries and is expanding its local presence worldwide.
Another company which focuses its product development on vessel safety is Valmet Power Transmission. Valmet has delivered to Wartsila a marine propulsion gearbox for a chemical tanker which is equipped with a new PTI drive configuration. The ship, hull No. 1201, is currently under construction at Italy's Apuania shipyard.
This solution is designed to increase machinery related safety and enhance operational economy. The concept features a single input/single output gearbox in the horizontal form, three hydraulic multi-disk clutches, which are incorporated in the gearbox, and a PTI drive. The main clutch is for engaging the propeller shaft, while the two others are for the PTO and PTI drive respectively. The PTI drive includes a pony motor. In the event of engine failure at sea, Valmet's new PTI drive with its unique clutch solution reportedly makes it possible to propel the ship away from hazards. The pony motor, with its shaft integrated in the gearbox, is connected to the PTO shaft to accelerate the shaft alternator. After the alternator has reached its nominal speed, the main and the PTO clutches are disengaged and the propeller shaft is started by engaging the PTI clutch. The propeller is then driven by the shaft alternator, which is functioning as an electric motor and is supplied with power from the generator sets onboard. Besides increasing safety, the unit is designed to make it possible to service the main engine during a call at port, therefore requiring less separate lay days needed for maintenance. CAD/CAM solutions have also opened up a new forum for increasing design efficiency and safety, and Finnish companies such as Nupas-Cadmatic — a relative newcomer to the market — are making a big impact. The company, which is a joint venture between Holland's Numeriek Centrum Groningen B.V. and Finland's Cadmatic Oy, strives to deliver flexible, easy to use software solutions. To date, shipyards such as J.J. Sietas and Neue Brandt Werft in Germany, Ulstein Verft in Norway and Chin Fu in Taiwan, have purchased and started using Nupas-Cadmatic shipbuilding software. While most of the product's users are in Europe, the company expects substantial growth in the Far East and North America.