The new Wärtsilä 31DF engine was piloted onboard Wasaline’s Aurora Botnia ro-pax ferry
Finnish technology group Wärtsilä has released a new ultra-low emissions version of its Wärtsilä 31DF engine.
Whilst operating on LNG fuel, the new version can reduce methane emissions by up to 56 per cent and nitrogen oxide (NOx) by up to 86 per cent, compared with its standard Wärtsilä 31DF engine, which the firm claims already has one of the lowest emission levels on the market.
“Our work around reducing methane slip and greenhouse gas emissions is part of Wärtsilä’s effort to continuously improve efficiency and reduce emissions of our products, and this new innovation is one more very important step along the road to decarbonisation,” said Stefan Nysjö, vice president of power supply at Wärtsilä Marine Power. “Our focus has always been to improve and optimise existing solutions, and to develop exciting new ones. With this latest introduction, we are clearly delivering on this commitment.”
The new engine was installed onboard Wasaline’s Aurora Botnia ferry and piloted over the last 12 months with the Finnish-Swedish ferry operator reporting a 10 per cent reduction in methane emissions. These results have been verified through an independent study, entitled Methane Emissions from a State-of-the-Art LNG-Powered Vessel, conducted in December 2022 by VTT, the Technical Research Centre of Finland.
“We are very committed to decarbonisation, and we have worked closely with Wärtsilä to make sustainable shipping a reality,” said Peter Ståhlberg, managing director of Wasaline. “It is a goal-oriented partnership that benefits both companies, as well as the industry as a whole. We have been pleased to allow the Aurora Botnia to be utilised as a floating laboratory, and we are excited to see the success of this latest Wärtsilä technology breakthrough.”
Shipowners will be able to upgrade the standard Wärtsilä 31DF engine, which was launched in 2015.
“The standard Wärtsilä 31DF engine complies with current emission regulations,” said Juha Kytölä, director of research and development and engineering at Wärtsilä. “However, the new version goes further, enabling operators to futureproof their vessels. Existing Wärtsilä 31DF engines can be modified and upgraded to the new technology as the engine has been designed to be highly modular. We’ve spent years developing and refining the concept and are thrilled to release it to the commercial market.”