DNV-GL approves next-generation Wärtsilä steerable thruster design

(HELSINKI) — The DNV-GL classification society has approved the design of the Wärtsilä WST-14 thruster, thus indicating that the design fully complies with the classification rules. This is an exceptional case since the approval has been granted based on a thruster design that has yet to be introduced into full series production.

The approval by DNV-GL follows the release of Wärtsilä’s next generation of thrusters at the end of 2013. The new WST-14 is part of the Wärtsilä steerable thruster (WST) compact series, which is aimed primarily at tugs, anchor handling vessels, and coastal and inland waterway cargo vessels. The key benefits of the series include superior performance, easy installation, a high level of integration, and ice class compatibility. The series is also designed so as to comply with the latest environmental regulations, such as the US EPA VGP 2013 requirements.

The approval is an important step toward obtaining type approval for the WST-14 thruster. Type approval means that the thruster will not have to be certified for each individual vessel or hull number. Wärtsilä has earlier acquired type approval for several thruster products. However, for the newest Wärtsilä Steerable Thruster (WST) portfolio, Wärtsilä has begun the process toward type approval from the earliest possible moment. It is estimated that the certification will produce savings that can be counted in millions of euros, as well as considerable reductions in production time.

The early DNV-GL approval of the Wärtsilä WST-14 prototype design provides evidence of the integrity of the product design, and is an important step towards full type approval. This approval also confirms that the design calculations meet the classification society’s requirements regarding standard operations, as well as for operations in ice conditions (ice class certification).

“This exceptional approval provides further evidence of the quality of Wärtsilä’s technology development. The fact that the WST-14 thruster design has been already approved will serve as an assurance to the customer that he is buying a product that already meets classification requirements. Furthermore, the approval emphasizes the design quality of our entire new thruster portfolio, and is a clear signal to the market of the robustness built into each Wärtsilä thruster,” says Wim Knoester, director, sales and project management, Propulsion Business Line, Wärtsilä Ship Power.

A prototype of the Wärtsilä WST-14 thruster is being built at the company’s dedicated manufacturing facilities in Wuxi, China, and will be shipped to Tuusula, Finland for testing and validation at the Wärtsilä Propulsion Test Centre.

The WST-14 thruster represents a small part of Wärtsilä’s largest ever thruster development program covering all possible thruster applications. Wärtsilä’s current offering will be expanded with additional new products within the coming months. All thrusters will be designed for mild ice-going applications but a true ice portfolio is also being developed within this program.

By Professional Mariner Staff