Wartsila signs deal to market gate rudder technology

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The following is text of a news release from Wartsila:

(HELSINKI) — The technology group Wartsila, with the consent of all joint Japanese patent holders developing gate rudder technology, has announced the signing of a license and cooperation agreement with Kuribayashi Steamship Co for future development, sales and servicing of the gate rudders.

In addition to Kuribayashi Steamship Co, the other patent holders are Kamome Propeller, the National Institute of Maritime, Port and Aviation Technology (NIMPAT, Japan), Yamanaka Shipbuilding, and Professor Noriyuki Sasaki. As an authorized license holder and partner, Wartsila intends to fully integrate gate rudders within its propulsion product designs and focus on global markets outside Japan. The agreement was signed on Feb. 28.

By offering gate rudders as an integral part of Wartsila’s propulsion offerings for newbuild vessels, compliance with the Energy Efficiency Design Index (EEDI) will be further facilitated. The technology is available for both newbuild and existing vessels. As an integral part of the design, it will realize synergies in capital and operational savings for shipowners by increasing fuel efficiency, improving manoeuvrability and course stability in both calm and rough sea conditions, while also reducing noise and vibration.

This new collaborative partnership will accelerate the deployment of gate rudder systems across all vessel classes. By combining Wartsila’s propulsion and machinery integration expertise with the Japanese patent holders’ gate rudder technology and know-how, this new technology will become accessible throughout the marine sector, with shipowners benefiting from the technology concepts.

“At Wartsila we are doing our outmost to support our customers as they look for new technologies to reduce operating costs and improve the environmental sustainability of their operations," said Lars Anderson, director of propulsion, Wartsila Marine. "We see great potential in this gate rudder technology collaboration. Today’s agreement enables us to support the building of better and more sustainable vessels already today, and Kuribayashi Steamship and the Japanese patent holders are the ideal partners to help us realize this goal.”

“Today’s agreement with Wartsila is a major step forward in introducing gate rudder technology to the global market, and it helps the shipping industry’s initiatives for sustainable shipping and reduced operating costs," said Sadatomo Kuribayashi, chairman of Kuribayashi Steamship. "An innovative approach has been taken in creating this new solution for the maritime industry. The first evaluations of vessel performance on Japanese coastal vessels have shown a significant improvement in efficiency and manoeuvrability. We see Wartsila, with a strong global presence, and sharing the same commitment for developing cleaner, more sustainable, and efficient marine shipping, as being the ideal partner.”

Instead of the traditional rudder arrangement in the propeller slipstream, the gate rudder is a twin arrangement around the propeller, allowing improved fuel efficiency and reduced emissions. The concept is applicable to all current vessels equipped with conventional propellers.

By Professional Mariner Staff