Wärtsilä to Design Gulf of Bothnia Ferry
Wärtsilä has been selected as the partner for designing a new ferry as part of the Midway Alignment of the Bothnian Corridor project. The scope of the design work will be both initial and basic design. The ferry is designed for sailing between Vaasa in Finland and Umeå in Sweden across the Gulf of Bothnia in the Baltic Sea. The contract was signed today, August 4.
The new vessel is required to be innovative, efficient and environmentally sound. Wärtsilä's solid track record in innovative solutions and technology together with extensive experience in gas fuelled propulsion were important factors in the award of this contract. The design will also take into account the need for operational flexibility since the transport demands on this route vary from season to season. The demand for cargo transports is quite stable in the course of the year while passenger traffic peaks during the summer therefore flexibility will be important in the concept. Therefore, during peak periods the ferry will run to a tighter schedule than is required at other times when the speed can be reduced in order to save fuel costs. Ice conditions during winter months can be quite severe and therefore the design work needs also to consider the operations during harsh winters.
"The project has been initiated to develop a multi-modal logistics corridor across the Gulf of Bothnia. The planning and design of the new ferry is one of the key activities in the project. Feasibility and environmental sustainability are essential cornerstones, and Wärtsilä's experience and expertise will contribute greatly to achieving a successful solution," said Mathias Lindström, Director, Kvarken Council and Project Leader for the Midway Alignment of the Bothnian Corridor project.
"This is an important project and we are proud to have been selected as the design partner responsible for developing the ship design. Integrated solutions for gas fuelled vessels represents a key focus area for Wärtsilä, and is one where we clearly have a leading role in the global market. As a first step, the initial design will be finalized whereby we can start making more precise budgets and develop the project further," said Magnus Miemois, Vice President, Ship Power Solutions at Wärtsilä.
The ship design phase is scheduled to be finalized by the end of the second quarter in 2015.