Wärtsilä has placed a strong emphasis on both product and solution innovation during 2015, particularly in the areas of efficiency improvement, fuel flexibility, and the reduction of environmental impact. The R&D related expenditure totalled EUR 132 million, which represents 2.6% of net sales.
During the first half of 2015, Wärtsilä launched several new innovative ship designs for anchor handling tug supply and platform supply vessels, for various sizes of container feeder vessels and for a new series of LNG carriers. Each design emphasizes fuel economy and performance, and come with optional versions to meet specific needs and the flexibility to choose particular features and solutions.
In May, Wärtsilä announced that the market leading Wärtsilä 50DF engine had been successfully tested and certified to run on ethane (LEG) fuel. The extensive test programme was carried out by Wärtsilä in close collaboration with Evergas, a world renowned owner and operator of seaborne petrochemical and liquid gas transport vessels.
The Wärtsilä 31 engine was launched in June. The new engine model has significant reduced maintenance requirements, while raising fuel efficiency, fuel flexibility, and operational optimisation to levels beyond anything else currently available. The Wärtsilä 31 has been recognised by Guinness World Records as being the world’s most efficient 4-stroke diesel engine, with diesel fuel consumption as low as 165 g/kWh.
In September, Wärtsilä introduced the latest addition to its thruster product portfolio, the Wärtsilä WST-14 steerable thruster, aimed primarily at inland waterway cargo vessel applications. The space-saving compact design will provide increased reliability and efficiency, while also lowering costs.
In October, Wärtsilä announced that a consortium comprised of Wärtsilä, GoodFuels Marine, and Boskalis will head a two year pilot programme to accelerate the development of sustainable, scalable, and affordable marine bio-fuels. The programme’s focus will be on identifying suitable marine biofuels, securing industry certification, and preparing the building blocks for large-scale production.
Also in October, Wärtsilä introduced a new LNG storage and regasification barge concept. This innovative solution provides a flexible means of meeting small to medium scale requirements where pure land-based LNG options are limited. The Wärtsilä Mobile LNG can easily be combined with a barge-mounted power plant having an output capacity of up to 250 MW. Alternatively, it can be used to supply conventional land-based power plants. The Wärtsilä Mobile LNG solution will make LNG available to new consumer segments, bringing clean energy to areas with limited or no access to the national electricity grid.
In November, Wärtsilä announced the expansion of its Smart Power Generation portfolio by introducing the capability to use propane as fuel for power generation. Replacing heavy fuel oil with propane enables significant reductions in carbon dioxide and other emissions from power plants.
Also in November, Wärtsilä launched Wärtsilä Genius services, a new digital service portfolio. The new portfolio will enable real-time optimisation of customers’ assets, improve predictability, and help the solving of issues through the use of digital solutions and data analytics. Wärtsilä also introduced an innovative new seal for stern tubes and thrusters that can be fully serviced underwater, thereby offering customers increased uptime and lifecycle efficiency.