Wärtsilä 31 engine to power new fishing vessel

Wärtsilä Corporation, Press release, 8 September 2016 at 10:00 UTC+2
  • Karstensens

The Wärtsilä 31 engine, which has been recognised by Guinness World Records as being the world’s most efficient 4-stroke diesel engine, has been chosen as the main engine for a new purse seiner/trawler being built by the Danish shipbuilder Karstensen Shipyard. The ship will be owned by Peter Hepsø Rederi AS based in Norway. This will be the world’s first fishing vessel with the Wärtsilä 31 engine. The contract with Wärtsilä was signed in September.

In addition to the main engine, Wärtsilä will also supply the complete propulsion system comprising a 2-speed gearbox, controllable pitch propellers, nozzle, the Wärtsilä Propulsion Control System, and the shaft generator.

“The Wärtsilä 31 engine has established a new benchmark in terms of fuel efficiency, which means also that its overall emissions performance is excellent. Furthermore, the Wärtsilä 2-speed gearbox provides additional fuel savings and lower noise levels. We are very pleased to be working with the yard and owners in this project to introduce a world class trawler to the market,” says Aaron Bresnahan, Vice President, Sales, Wärtsilä Marine Solutions.

“Our company will be celebrating its 100 year anniversary in 2017. It is appropriate, therefore, that we mark the occasion with a new vessel that will represent the future of the fishing fleet. Wärtsilä’s propulsion solution provides the efficiency and environmental sustainability we needed for the ship,” says Audhild Hepsø, General Manager, Peter Hepsø Rederi AS.

The 80 metre long purse seiner/trawler will primarily operate in the North Atlantic, the North Sea and in Norwegian waters.

The Wärtsilä 31 engine comes in three alternative versions; Diesel, Dual-Fuel (DF) and Spark-Ignited Gas (SG). The multi-fuel capabilities that the Wärtsilä 31 brings to the market extend the possibilities for operators to utilise different qualities of fuels, from very light to very heavy diesel, and a range of different qualities of gas. The engine is designed to serve a variety of vessel types requiring main engine propulsion in the 4.2 to 9.8 MW power range. The remarkable increases in fuel efficiency and fuel flexibility that the Wärtsilä 31 brings to the market are matched by significant reductions in maintenance costs. For example, the first service on the Wärtsilä 31 is required after only 8000 running hours, whereas alternative standard marine engines require maintenance after 2000 running hours.

Compared to a single mechanical propulsion system, a fuel consumption reduction of eight per cent was verified with the Wärtsilä 2-speed gearbox during sea trials. It is anticipated that further reductions of up to 15 per cent can be achieved, with a similar lowering of nitrogen oxide (NOx) and sulphur oxide (SOx) exhaust emissions.

These fuel cost savings and subsequent environmental benefits are achieved when maximum vessel speed or propeller thrust is not required: When running the propeller at a reduced and more efficient speed closer to its design pitch, less power is required.  At the same time, the engine speed is kept constant, thereby allowing the electric power generation from the gearbox Power Take-Off (PTO) to remain constant and also uninterrupted when switching between the 2 gear steps. Furthermore, by reducing the propeller speed there is a significant reduction in the underwater radiated noise level. This is of great importance for fishing- and seismic vessels and beneficial to marine life in general, while it is also highly appreciated by the crew due to less noise and vibration in the living quarters of the vessel.

Meet us at the SMM conference and exhibition in Hamburg, Germany, Stand 312 in Hall B6, from September 5 to 9.

Link to image
Caption: The new purse seiner/trawler being built by the Danish shipbuilder Karstensen Shipyard will be the world’s first fishing vessel with the Wärtsilä 31 engine.

Media contacts:

Mr Arne Mæland
General Manager Sales, Specials
Wärtsilä Norway
Tel: +47 90738264

Ms Marit Holmlund-Sund
Senior Manager Marketing, Communications, Marine Solutions
Wärtsilä Corporation
Tel: +358 10 709 1439


Wärtsilä in brief:
Wärtsilä is a global leader in advanced technologies and complete lifecycle solutions for the marine and energy markets. By emphasising sustainable innovation and total efficiency, Wärtsilä maximises the environmental and economic performance of the vessels and power plants of its customers.
In 2015, Wärtsilä's net sales totalled EUR 5 billion with approximately 18,800 employees. The company has operations in over 200 locations in more than 70 countries around the world. Wärtsilä is listed on Nasdaq Helsinki.