Marine technology company Wärtsilä has been contracted to carry out a retrofit project aimed at lessening the environmental footprint of a ferry operating on the Wadden Sea.

The retrofit will enable the Münsterland, a roll-on/roll-off passenger (RoPax) ferry owned by German operator Aktien-Gesellschaft Ems, to use LNG as fuel, thereby completely eliminating its emissions of sulphur oxides (SOx) and particulates, while reducing its nitrogen oxide (NOx) emissions.

The vessel will be fitted with two 20DF dual-fuel generating sets and a Wärtsilä LNGPac system.

Wärtsilä noted that the project was important as the Wadden Sea is a UNESCO World Heritage listed area in the south eastern end of the North Sea.

The work will take place at the Koninklijke Niestern-Sander B.V. yard in the Netherlands. The yard has facilities for shipbuilding and repairs under one roof, and will use these facilities to build a new aftship to accommodate the Wärtsilä LNGPac fuel storage, supply, and control system. This fitting of the new aftship is scheduled to start in September 2020.

A similar retrofitting project was carried out in 2015 on the Ostfriesland, a sister ship to the Münsterland, and the success of this project was cited as a prime consideration in the award of this subsequent contract.

In addition to the retrofitting of these two ferries, the owners have also earlier ordered via a subsidiary company, Cassen Eils, a full Wärtsilä dual-fuel package for LNG operation for the ferry Helgoland.

“Wärtsilä’s technology is already known to us, so we had no hesitation to contract them again to retrofit the Münsterland to allow it to operate without restrictions in the SECA and NECA sulphur and nitrogen oxide controlled areas,” Bernhard Brons, Managing Director of AG Ems, said.

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