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First hybrid vessel upgrade for Latin America

Shiprepair & Maintenance: December 2020wartsila image


Technology giant Wärtsilä has signed an agreement to convert CBO’s 2012-built platform supply vessel, CBO Flamengo, enabling the ship to operate with hybrid propulsion. Wärtsilä claims that the order, placed in October 2020, will make CBO Flamengo the first vessel in Latin America fitted with a battery pack for hybrid propulsion, improving the ship’s energy consumption and reducing its carbon footprint.


The scope of the conversion comprises power conversion, project services, hybrid solution delivery and commissioning, with Wärtsilä providing its single integrated hybrid power module, which it says is the first in the marine industry.


The module combines engines, an energy storage system, as well as power electronics optimised by the company’s energy management system (EMS). Wärtsilä states that its EMS functions as the brain of the propulsion system, as it optimises energy flows between different power sources, storage and consumers to achieve a high level of efficiency.


Wärtsilä’s hybrid power system provides redundancy power and reduces intermittent load increases, through which it saves fuel and reduces exhaust emission levels. The company adds that as the engines will operate on less running hours, maintenance requirements and costs will also be reduced.


Further, the hybrid solution complies with DNV-GL’s ‘Battery Power’ class notation, and Wärtsilä comments that this enables the ship’s engines to run more efficiently by operating safely with fewer engines at a higher load.


The equipment, due for delivery in April 2021, will be installed and integrated by CBO. And Marcelo Martins, technical and commercial director at CBO, comments that installing batteries was a natural choice for the company: “CBO is always interested in new technologies and innovation is in our DNA. We seek less fossil fuel consumption and this, aligned with our ESG (environmental and social governance) initiatives, makes the decision to install batteries in our vessels a natural path. CBO will offer more efficient operation to our clients, and this will be the first step of more to come.”


“Wärtsilä is a leader in innovation and has extensive know-how in hybrid battery systems for ships, so we are pleased to join forces with Wärtsilä to implement new technologies into CBO’s fleet,” he adds.