Written by

Nick Blenkey

A giant vessel 130 meters long and 32 meters wide will operate for Buquebus between Argentina and Uruguay with Wärtsilä’s 31 dual-fuel engine technology

Wärtsilä is to supply the engines, waterjets and fuel storage and system for what will be the world’s largest aluminum catamaran, the 2,100 passenger/226 car vessel ordered from Incat Tasmania Pty by Argentinian ferry operator Buquebus.

The 130-meter-long, 32-meter-beam vessel will operate between Argentina and Uruguay with Wärtsilä’s 31 dual-fuel engine technology, primarily using LNG fuel produced in Buquebus’ own LNG plant. The vessel will also incorporate electric shaft motors powered by the main engine gearboxes, further leveraging Wärtsilä’s LNG technology. With LNG, the minimized CO2, nitrous oxides (NOx), sulfur oxides (SOx) and particulate emissions will make the ferry Tier III compliant and able to operate in emission control areas ( ECA).

“We have selected Wärtsilä waterjets several times in the past and have always been extremely pleased with their performance,” says Tim Burnell, CEO of Incat Tasmania. “However, this is the first time that we will include Wärtsilä engines, and we are excited about the potential they offer. This will be the largest and most environmentally friendly vessel of its type in the world, and we are very pleased to work with Wärtsilä to make this project a huge success.

“It is indeed an exciting project,” says Mikko Mannerkorpi, General Sales Manager at Wärtsilä Marine Power. “Our latest generation WXJ axial-flow waterjets reduce plant footprint by an average of approximately 25%, compared to non-axial-flow jet designs. They also offer a higher power-to-weight ratio and are equipped with an advanced propulsion control system. Combining this with our highly efficient and fuel-flexible engines means this is a truly future-proof investment.

Wärtsilä’s full range of supplies for the Buquebus ferry include four Wärtsilä 31DF dual-fuel engines, four Wärtsilä WXJ1500SR waterjets and two Wärtsilä LNGPac fuel storage, supply and propulsion control systems. The equipment will be delivered to the shipyard from mid-2023.