In October 2010, Wärtsilä and Deltamarin announced that the two companies were co-operating to develop a series of innovative ferry designs. The Integrated Modular Customized, IMC designs are now ready for introduction to the ferry market.
Deltamarin, the foremost design company in the cruise and ferry market and Wärtsilä, the marine industry's leading solutions provider, have developed a series of new IMC ferry designs which will undergo extensive model testing. The aim is to achieve considerable cost savings, both in building the ships and in operating them. At the same time, the latest environmental technology will be utilized to meet current and future regulations.
Ferries have traditionally been expensive to build for a number of reasons, but primarily because it is not feasible for them to be standardized. In essence, each ferry is custom designed, and they represent less than one per cent of the world's shipping fleet. Similarly, operational costs tend to be high because of the regional and seasonal nature of the business, and as a result of port and weather restrictions.
"The value of this IMC integrated project is in the fully optimized solution that we can offer to ferry owners and operators. Both Deltamarin and Wärtsilä are contributing the best elements of their know-how and capabilities in a unique approach that provides a distinct competitive edge. A world-class ferry designer such as Deltamarin is an outstanding partner for us in fulfilling our goal of offering totally integrated solutions to this market," says Aaron Bresnahan, Vice President, Cruise & Ferry Segment, Wärtsilä Ship Power.
Modularisation offers major cost savings
Deltamarin is contributing its full range of design and engineering services, including a tender package, contract design, and specifications for ferry owners and the designated shipyard. Wärtsilä machinery and systems are fully integrated into the designs to achieve the greatest possible fuel savings and emission reductions. The IMC designs will be prepared for conventional as well as future fuels, including LNG. Every effort is being made to achieve the lowest possible building costs. Deltamarin's contracting services also support the owners and assist shipyards during construction, when necessary.
Within this co-operative agreement between the two companies, the partners are preparing the IMC designs in teamwork with key system suppliers and authorities.
Deltamarin has developed its own Parametric Design method for ships, which splits the design into pure cost elements and revenue generating aspects. This unique method opens the possibility for modularization of construction, machinery, large equipment and onboard systems. This immediately presents considerable newbuilding cost savings, and simplified maintenance of the ship. Furthermore, it offers a unique appearance of the ferry and customer-dedicated service.
Responding to market needs
The new ferry designs are intended to meet the needs of the ferry industry, strikingly present in the ferry replacement market .These include the need to lower newbuilding costs; the need for optimized designs, especially for small RoPax- ferries, that offer lower emissions, improved performance, and simplified maintenance; the need for an early feasibility study before investment decision; and the need to make ships easier to trade and thus attract financing.
A notable strength of the IMC ferry designs is that they can be readily adapted to changes and developments requested by the owner. The Parametric approach makes it possible to demonstrate design changes immediately, and the design is re-optimized in order to comply with regulations, best fuel consumption and overall performance. This has not been possible with earlier design methods without increasing the costs.
The IMC ferry designs will be presented during the Ferry Shipping Conference11, on board the m/v Cruise Barcelona, 12-14 April, 2011.