Feb 6, 2023 | Marine propulsion & machinery news

Wärtsilä is to supply dual-fuel engines and high-performance axial flow waterjets for a new high-speed ro-pax ferry, to be named ‘Margarita Salas’, being built at the Astilleros Armon Gijon yard in Spain on behalf of the Spanish shipping company Baleària.

The newbuild will have the same dimensions as sister vessel, Eleanor Roosevelt, which at 123m is currently the longest High-Speed ferry in operation. While the dimensions of the two ships will be the same, the new vessel’s Wärtsilä engines will have 10% greater power and increased efficiency. Also, the latest-generation WXJ Wärtsilä waterjets will deliver higher performance. Overall, the Margarita Salas will feature optimised speed and capacity and, like the Eleanor Roosevelt, will operate on LNG fuel.

Pablo Garcia, New Builds Project Manager Baleària, said: “This new ship will combine the most competitive features of the Eleanor Roosevelt with a series of innovations in its design and engineering to enhance the customer experience.”

Jesus Puelles, GM Sales Spain, Wärtsilä, added: “It is an honour to have been selected as the integrated drivetrain package supplier for this state-of-the-art vessel. We have been able to offer superior technical performance, the best power-to-weight ratio, the best overall equipment efficiency, and enhanced integration support. This represents a value proposition that will make this new ferry superbly efficient.”

The Wärtsilä scope includes four Wärtsilä 31DF dual-fuel engines operating primarily on LNG fuel, four Wärtsilä WXJ steerable-reversible inboard hydraulic waterjets with Protouch propulsion control system, and two LNGPac fuel storage and supply systems. LNG is considered the cleanest and most mature marine fuel currently available within the industry’s decarbonisation focus.

The IMO Tier III compliant Wärtsilä 31DF is said to be the most powerful engine in its class and features high efficiency. The diesel version of the Wärtsilä 31 has been recognised for its efficiency by Guinness World Records.

The axial flow of the Wärtsilä waterjets reduces the installation footprint by an average of 25% compared to conventional systems. Furthermore, the propulsion system will enable the vessel to reach a service speed of 35 knots.

Wärtsilä has a long-standing business relationship with both the Astilleros Armon Gijon yard and Baleària. Previous ferries built for the operator are powered by Wärtsilä engines and/or propulsion solutions.

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