Wärtsilä Hybrid Solution to minimise carbon footprint of new Canadian ferry

Wärtsilä Hybrid Solution to minimise carbon footprint of new Canadian ferry
The new Kootenay Lake ferry will operate with Wärtsilä’s hybrid propulsion to minimise its environmental impact. Image courtesy of British Columbia Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure

A new ro-ro ferry being built for the British Columbia Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure will feature Wärtsilä’s advanced hybrid solution rather than a conventional propulsion arrangement to reduce fuel consumption and cut emissions.

The vessel will operate in the Balfour – Kootenay Bay route across Kootenay Lake, a pristine environment. For this reason, a minimised carbon footprint was essential for the vessel. An additional benefit is that through reducing the running hours of the engines, maintenance requirements and costs are also lowered.

The full scope of Wärtsilä’s supply includes two Wärtsilä 20 generator sets with Selective Catalytic Reduction (SCR) systems, the Wärtsilä’s Hybrid Solution with a DC electrical system and batteries, the energy management system, and the vessel alarm and monitoring system. Wärtsilä will also supply the sewage treatment system and will be responsible for the integration of the various onboard systems. Delivery is scheduled for the second half of 2022.

The 89 metres long double-ended ferry will be capable of carrying 250 passengers and crew, as well as 61 automobile equivalents (AEQs). The British Columbian government already operates two ferries powered by Wärtsilä 20 engines.

The vessel is being built at the Western Pacific Marine shipyard, The order with Wärtsilä was placed in January 2021.

“Wärtsilä was selected based on their experience, reputation, and know-how in developing, delivering, and supporting complex hybrid propulsion systems. These capabilities are extremely important to us, and we very much appreciate and welcome Wärtsilä’s support throughout this project,” said Graham Clarke, president, Western Pacific Marine.

“We are proud to be providing the integrated hybrid propulsion solution for the Kootenay Lake replacement ferry, and proud also to be playing our part in preserving the beautiful environment of this interior region of British Columbia. The Wärtsilä Hybrid System is in full alignment with our Smart Marine approach towards raising sustainability levels for our customers. This solution is also upgradable to achieve zero emission operations in the future,” stated Dave Adams, senior sales manager, Wärtsilä Canada.