Prepared To Ply Polar Waters

French Navy’s icebreaker/logistics vessel equipped with IMO Tier 3 engines from Wärtsilä

The French Navy's recently launched patrol and polar logistic icebreaker, L'Astrolabe is the first vessel operating with the IMO Tier 3 EIAPP (Engine International Air Pollution Prevention) Wärtsilä diesel engines.

Wärtsilä  announced that the L’Astrolabe, a 72 m polar logistics vessel fitted with a complete Wärtsilä propulsion machinery package and Wärtsilä NOR (NOx Reducer) SCR (selective catalytic reduction) exhaust gas cleaning systems for all the main engines, has been launched. The vessel, which was built at the Chantiers Piriou shipyard in Concarneau, France, and launched July 12, is the first operating with the International Maritime Organization’s IMO Tier 3 EIAPP (Engine International Air Pollution Prevention) certified Wärtsilä diesel engines.

The L’Astrolabe will have accommodation for 60 persons, a cargo capacity of 1400 metric tons, and is fitted with a helideck large enough to accommodate two helicopters.  The ship was built by PIRIOU (France) for the French Southern and Antarctic Lands Administration. It will be used to transport personnel and supplies to the Dumont d’Urville research station in Antarctica.

“For this type of vessel operating in the most challenging ice and weather conditions, the engine selection had to be carefully made. We know and respect Wärtsilä’s capabilities and technical know-how, and we are confident that we have made the best possible choice for this important vessel,” says Vincent Faujour, Piriou’s CEO.

The four IMO Tier 3 certified eight-cylinder Wärtsilä 20 diesel engines are combined with Wärtsilä NOR systems to be fully compliant with the IMO Tier 3 exhaust emissions regulations set out in the MARPOL 73/78 convention.  

The full Wärtsilä scope of supply for this vessel comprises four Wärtsilä 20 main engines, two Wärtsilä controllable pitch propellers and shaft lines including Wärtsilä reduction gears, Wärtsilä NOR systems, and a Wärtsilä tunnel thruster.

Wärtsilä said its NOR system is available for use with all Wärtsilä medium-speed engines. The system enables vessels to be compliant with global NOx emission control area regulations, while optimizing engine performance, emissions reduction, noise abatement and engine efficiency, the company said. Wärtsilä provides IMO and EPA Tier III certificates for its engines combined with a Wärtsilä NOR system.

 “We have been pleased to deliver this combination of engines and SCR systems in the same scope of supply, and take full responsibility for exhaust gas emissions, performance, documentation, statutory approvals and certification,” said Juha Kytölä, vice president, Environmental Solutions, Wärtsilä Marine Solutions. “Such packages are convenient for shipyards and ship operators and triggered by IMO regulations are expected to be specified by an increasing number of shipyards and ship owners. The engine needs to be SCR compatible and the SCR should be fit for purpose. It has been a pleasure to work with Chantiers Piriou.”

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