For vessels operating in US waters, VGP-2013 mandates the use of EALs in all oil-to-sea interfaces unless technically unfeasible. VGP-2013 was issued by the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and is applicable to all vessels sailing in US coastal waters.
Wärtsilä began work on developing an effective solution in 2013, working together with numerous EAL suppliers. EALs have since been extensively tested with Wärtsilä steerable thrusters at the Wärtsilä Propulsion Test Centre in Tuusula, Finland. This testing has provided Wärtsilä with a deep technical understanding of the EAL impact on marine propulsion systems.
To make the company’s propulsion systems EAL compatible, product modifications have been made to various elements, including the seals, hydraulics and oil monitoring systems. Wärtsilä has acquired detailed specification knowledge of adapting full hydraulic systems to make them EAL compatible, as well as comprehensive experience of the impact of EAL compliance on seals. Wärtsilä has also obtained full intellectual property rights on the newly developed flushed hub solution.
The first vessels to be fitted with Wärtsilä’s VGP-2013 compliant propulsion package are four BigRoll MC Class module carriers currently under construction at the COSCO shipyard in Dalian, China. The four state of the art MC class vessels (DP2 prepared, flush deck, 1A ice class and high service speed) will be operated by BigRoll Shipping for large module transportation services for offshore and onshore projects. The propulsion equipment will include Wärtsilä main engines, Wärtsilä tunnel thrusters (WTT) and Wärtsilä controllable pitch propeller systems (WCPs).
The four 173-metre-long module carriers will be used for serving onshore energy projects and offshore transportation requirements for which excellent dynamic positioning capability is needed and for which the vessels are prepared. The vessels’ design emphasises high ballasting capacity, low fuel consumption, high service speed and excellent sea-keeping behaviour, meaning lower acceleration forces on the cargo.
VGP-2013 compliancy is available for new built installations. For existing sailing installations, Wärtsilä can perform a feasibility study for each particular vessel. In many cases it is possible to change the propulsion installation to a VGP-2013 compliant system.
“Wärtsilä is once again proud to demonstrate its technical leadership with this breakthrough compliance with important US legislation. Vessels with VGP-2013 compliant Wärtsilä propulsion solutions will be allowed to operate freely in US coastal waters, as the environmentally advanced systems eliminate the possibility of mineral oil spills into the sea,” says Arto Lehtinen, Vice President, Propulsion, Wärtsilä Ship Power.
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Caption: The first vessels to be fitted with Wärtsilä’s VGP-2013 compliant propulsion package are four BigRoll MC Class module carriers currently under construction at the COSCO shipyard in Dalian, China. Image courtesy of RollDock Shipping.
Mr Wim Knoester
Director Sales Propulsion
Wärtsilä Ship Power
Tel: +31 416 388216
Ms Marit Holmlund-Sund
Senior Manager Marketing, Communications, Ship Power
Tel: +358 10 709 1439
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 maximizes the environmental and economic performance of the vessels and power plants of its customers.
In 2014, Wärtsilä's net sales totalled EUR 4.8 billion with approximately 17,700 employees. The company has operations in more than 200 locations in nearly 70 countries around the world. Wärtsilä is listed on the NASDAQ OMX Helsinki, Finland.