Wärtsilä and Samsung Heavy Industries sign cooperation agreement to develop environmentally sound gas-fuelled ships

Wärtsilä Corporation, Press release 22 March 2010 at 10:00 UTC+2

Wärtsilä and Samsung Heavy Industries (SHI) have signed a cooperation agreement to develop gas-fuelled merchant vessels. The intention is to jointly develop next-generation ships with efficient and competitive propulsion machinery concepts that meet or exceed the demands of future environmental regulations.

The focus of the Wärtsilä and SHI joint study will be on utilizing liquefied natural gas (LNG) as fuel for operating vessels. This is especially relevant in Emissions Control Areas (ECAs). Wärtsilä’s input will be related to the propulsion machinery, with particular reference to large bore dual-fuel engines combined with mechanical propulsion solutions. SHI will concentrate on the design of highly-efficient vessels incorporating fuel storage facilities and gas-powered propulsion machinery.

"Compared to conventional engines running on heavy fuel oil (HFO), Wärtsilä’s dual-fuel engine technology offers 20–25 percent lower carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions, 90 per cent lower nitrogen oxide (NOx) emissions and almost negligible sulphur oxide (SOx) and particulate emissions,” says Mr Jaakko Eskola, Group Vice President, Wärtsilä Ship Power. “We are the market leader in dual-fuel engine technology and deliveries, and our engine portfolio covers the majority of merchant vessel propulsion needs. In gas mode, our dual-fuel engines already comply with the IMO’s (International Maritime Organisation) regulations which come into force in 2016,” Eskola continues.

For many decades, engines running on heavy fuel oil have been, and still are, the market standard for propulsion and electric power generation in merchant vessels as heavy fuel oil represents the cheapest available source of primary energy. Future environmental regulations will, however, require technologies with lower levels of emissions, and the number of ECAs in different regions of the world is expected to rise.

Increasingly tough environmental regulations will open up opportunities for new solutions incorporating cost-efficient technology and this could trigger a substantial shift towards gas-powered dual-fuel vessels. From a price perspective, gas from LNG is already competitive with liquid fuels, but further investment in the supply chain is necessary to encourage widespread use in shipping.

SHI will provide inputs for the specification of fuel storage and handling systems, and for total vessel costs, as well as identifying the major vessel parameters.

“Samsung Heavy Industries  has delivered hundreds of vessels from virtually every ship category to customers worldwide, and we lead the industry in both the number of ships built and dock turnover time, a key measure of efficiency,” says K.S Lee, Vice President, Project Planning Team at Samsung Heavy Industries.

For further information, please contact:


Ms Tuula Franck
Senior Manager, External Communications
Wärtsilä Corporation
Tel: +358 400 267555

Samsung Heavy Industries

Mr Jin Mo Kim
Senior Manager, Project Planning Team
Samsung Heavy Industries
Tel:  +82 55 630 3340
Internet: www.shi.samsung.co.kr

Wärtsilä in brief
Wärtsilä is a global leader in complete lifecycle power solutions for the marine and energy markets. By emphasising technological innovation and total efficiency, Wärtsilä maximises the environmental and economic performance of the vessels and power plants of its customers.
In 2009, Wärtsilä’s net sales totalled EUR 5.3 billion with more than 18,000 employees. The company has operations in 160 locations in 70 countries around the world. Wärtsilä is listed on the NASDAQ OMX Helsinki, Finland.