Wartsila and SHI team-up to build gas-powered ships
Finnish engineering and design group Wärtsilä and Korean shipbuilder Samsung Heavy Industries are to collaborate on the development of gas-powered merchant vessels.
The announcement follows other similar intentions by engineering companies that believe gas will become a dominant fuel source for shipping as tougher environmental regulations and increased oil prices affect shipowners costs.
Wärtsilä"s input will be related to its experience with marine engines. It already has a dual-fuel engine capable of running on gas or oil. Samsung"s role in the study will be to evaluate vessel design, including the optimisation of LNG fuel storage and gas powered propulsion machinery.
LNG as a marine fuel has the potential to significantly reduce a vessels CO2, NOx, SOx and particulate emissions compared to heavy fuel oil.
However, there are a number of issues to be resolved, such as the design optimisation of vessels other than LNG carriers, the fuel storage capacity of oceangoing vessels, and the eventual development of an LNG bunker supply chain.