The marine and oil & gas industries are at the center of converging megatrends, namely a move towards a more diverse and cleaner energy mix, increased transparency and accountability with regards to environmental performance, and a need to improve economic performance despite possible uncertainties in the global economy. For Wärtsilä it is clear that improved sustainability is central to addressing all these trends.
Wärtsilä is committed to becoming the most valued business partner of its customers. Thus it is essential for Ship Power to have sustainability at the very core of its product and solutions development. Our R&D and business development activities are based on a deep understanding of how these megatrends affect our customers. The expansion and development of Wärtsilä’s offering to the marine and oil & gas industries over the years demonstrates our response to our customers’ needs. Gas, environmental compliance, and efficiency are the three pillars on which Ship Power builds its offering.
The shift towards natural gas
The global energy landscape is shifting towards a more diverse and sustainable energy mix, and natural gas - the cleanest fossil fuel - has a key role to play in this transition. The oil & gas industry has, during recent years, seen a dramatic rise in the demand for natural gas along with the increase in supply. The marine industry is also affected by this transition, with interest in the use of gas as a marine fuel rising sharply.
Wärtsilä develops products and services that enable the safe use, handling and distribution of natural gas for the marine and oil & gas industries. We are the marine industry’s undisputed leader when it comes to gas-fuelled propulsion, with dual-fuel medium-speed engines ordered for more than 200 vessels and over 7 million running hours accumulated in both land-based and marine applications. These milestones represent achievements that cannot be matched today by any other engine manufacturer. Thanks to a strong and safe track record in the use of gas as a marine fuel for LNG carriers, the industry is increasingly keen on expanding the use of LNG to other vessel types.
The benefits of using Wärtsilä’s well proven low-pressure dual-fuel technology are many:
- Emission reductions (when operating in gas mode): -85% NOx, -99% SOx , up to 99% reduction of particulates, 20-30% less CO2 emissions, no smoke
- Fuel flexibility to enhance operational security and competitiveness, operation on HFO, MDO, bio fuels and crude oil is possible
- Capital expenditure reductions of 15-20%, since the use of low pressure technology means simpler (lower cost) gas handling systems, and no need for further exhaust gas cleaning systems
- Reduced waste streams (liquid waste)
- No need to use secondary emission reduction systems (and hence no consumption of reagents)
- Redundancy and safety
- Stable operation on gas across the entire load range with no need to switch to diesel fuel at low loads
- Lower consumption of pilot fuel (just 1% of the total fuel used)
Enabling the use of gas as a marine fuel means much more than supplying a proven technology on gas engines. For Wärtsilä, it means also maintaining its leading position in the design of gas fuelled vessels, and offering reliable and competitive gas storage and handling systems. Wärtsilä also supports the development of the broader gas value chain in the oil and gas industry with, for instance, its liquefaction and regasification solutions.
The marine industry is implementing changes to comply with existing environmental regulations, while evaluating the possibilities for complying with upcoming regulations. Emissions to air (CO2, NOx, SOx, PM, VOC, and others) and water are under scrutiny. Similarly, regulations relating to safe and clean operations are becoming stricter, especially for the oil & gas industry.
Wärtsilä offers a wide set of options for compliance with environmental regulations. All include working technologies, fast installation, and support throughout our global network. We are committed to providing our customers and society at large with reliable and safe technologies for environmental compliance, which will be available for use as new regulations come into force. We can also assist our customers in the process of evaluating the best options for compliance so as to adopt a solution that meets their specific operational needs.
In the marine industry our offering for environmental compliance covers the following:
- For SOx and NOx compliance: gas propulsion, conversions to gas propulsion, exhaust gas cleaning systems (NOR, hybrid scrubber system, open loop scrubber system)
- For ballast water compliance: ultraviolet treatment and electro-chlorination
- For EEDI compliance: improved efficiency of individual products, ship design
- For emissions to water compliance: sealing systems
In addition to these, Wärtsilä’s offering to the oil & gas industry includes the following solutions to facilitate safe and clean operations:
- VOC recovery
- Waste and fresh water management systems
- Oil separation
- Flare gas recovery
Focus on efficiency
The global economic downturn has put enormous pressure on the cost structure of the marine industry in particular, while the oil & gas industry is also affected. In the marine industry especially, the high cost of fuel is a key driver for upgrading equipment, re-thinking operational profiles, and for new vessel designs. Investments in improved energy efficiency have both economic and improved environmental performance benefits.
At Wärtsilä, we strive to optimise the lifecycle cost of installations. We do this because it makes economic sense to our customers, since we understand the pressure for reducing costs and investing in developing products and solutions that will help achieve significant savings. Furthermore, improved efficiency results in better environmental performance.
For us, one way of improving efficiency is to continuously invest in renewing our product portfolio. During 2014, we launched the Wärtsilä 46DF engine, which drastically lowers specific fuel consumption in both gas and diesel fuel mode, as well as a new Aframax tanker design and an upgraded SK 5054 MkII tanker design which emphasise improvements in energy efficiency. Furthermore, our propulsion portfolio has been expanded with the introduction of a new fixed pitch propeller design, and a new controllable pitch propeller system. In both cases the emphasis has been on efficiency, resulting in improved fuel efficiency. Finally, our new Low Loss Hybrid Energy System utilises different power sources in combination with energy storage devices to operate the prime movers closest to their optimum performance, thus achieving annual fuel savings of up to 15%.