As the business of providing power to marine vessels around the world continues to consolidate into the hands of fewer, larger companies, one of the more active companies — Wärtsilä Corporation — recently gave more insight into its long-term strategy as "The Ship Power Supplier."
Earlier this year, the company announced that, as The Ship Power Supplier, it offered complete marine power systems for all types of vessels, together with all associated services. As attested by the variety of companies both inside and out of the marine propulsion realm that are attempting to reshape their companies as a "one-stop-shop", such solutions are intended to add value and better satisfy the group's customers and business partners.
An essential tool in this strategy — in Wärtsilä's case — is the new e-business channel, which gives direct access to Wärtsilä's information and services.
Shipbuilders increasingly outsource work and look for cost savings to be more competitive. At the same time, shipowners are seeking greater performance from their vessels' machinery and propulsion installations and trying to achieve even greater reductions in life-cycle costs. There are clear market signals that customers want stronger relationships, including an emphasis on a single responsibility for ships' entire power systems. In that way, they can be assured that all equipment is well matched with no interface difficulties.
Wärtsilä's response is to take a holistic approach. It is shifting business focus from hardware sales through customized service concepts to being a supplier of systems. Wärtsilä is building on existing skills and competence to develop its applications, products and services to create highly functional and compatible total marine power solutions from a single supplier — The Ship Power Supplier.
Today, Wärtsilä offers a comprehensive range of marine diesel engines, of four- and two-stroke types under the Wärtsilä and Sulzer brand names, with outputs of 720-65,880 kW, together with reduction gearboxes and propulsion controls. Wärtsilä also offers gas diesel engines to run on gas from the wells. Wärtsilä's main market segments cover all types of commercial vessels, including container ships, bulk carriers, tankers, ferries, RoRo vessels, cruise ships, car carriers and reefers, as well as the specialized marine markets of naval ships, dredgers, tugs, offshore vessels and fishing craft.
Shipbuilders and shipowners will both benefit from having a single supplier for a complete power system. Mainly shipbuilders will see important service benefits in system design, and project management. In addition, they can be assured that all elements of the power system are well matched, and interface problems are avoided. For shipowners, a single-supplier system gives benefits in terms of operation and maintenance on board ship, as well as the availability of extended after-sales support. Through a high degree of integration, shipowners will also reap the benefits of lowest life-cycle costs for their investment.
Product and Application Development
An important feature of The Ship Power Supplier strategy is that Wärtsilä, as the single supplier, acts as the prime contractor to the shipbuilders and shipowners taking responsibility for the complete system and providing all related services. As part of this responsibility, Wärtsilä will apply its skills and competence to identify and develop new products and applications, and integrate them into the product portfolio.
As necessary, Wärtsilä is also entering into strategic alliances with leading manufacturing companies. Such alliances, through their long-term working relationships, give particular benefits in ensuring that resulting marine power systems
are well optimized and fully compatible. The first of these alliances was formed earlier this year with John Crane-Lips. This makes an important contribution to the range of hardware available to Wärtsilä as The Ship Power Supplier. To Wärtsilä's engines, gearboxes and controls, John Crane-Lips adds a range of propellers, both fixed-pitch and controllable-pitch types, with all types of thrusters.
Wärtsilä To Provide Power On Unique Icebreaking Tankers
Wärtsilä Corp. diesel engines were selected to power a pair of 106,000-dwt Aframax icebreaking tankers of the revolutionary new double-acting concept. The two tankers were contracted by the Finnish energy group Fortum Oil & Gas for building at Sumitomo Heavy Industries Ltd. in Japan with delivery by mid 2002.
Each ship will be powered by a 22.9 MW diesel-electric plant supplying all propulsion and ancillary power requirements. Each plant includes two Wärtsilä 9L38B diesel engines each of 6,320 kW output at 600 rpm, two Wärtsilä 6L38B diesel engines each of 4,220 kW and one Wärtsilä 6L26 diesel engine of 1,860 kW at 900 rpm. Electric propulsion is provided by a single 16 MW podded drive.
These icebreaking tankers will be employed between the North Sea and refineries in the northern Baltic ports of Porvoo and Naantali, which experience some 110-115 days of ice each year. They are thus being built to Ice Super class and will follow a revolutionary Double Acting Tanker (DAT) concept developed by the Arctic Technology Center of Kvaerner Masa-Yards in Helsinki.
In the DAT concept, the ship is designed for running astern as an icebreaker, and ahead in open water. Thus the ship's stern is designed for optimum performance when breaking ice, making best use of the bow propeller effect to create a strong lubricating flow of water reducing friction between the hull and ice.
The forebody is designed to be more efficient in open water than a conventional icebreaking hull design.