Wasaline’s ferry achieves major milestone
Car and passenger ferry Aurora Botnia is nearing the end of the construction phase at Rauma Marine Constructions’ (RMC) shipyard in Rauma, Finland and has successfully completed its first sea trial.
Aurora Botnia, which will operate on the route between the Finnish city of Vaasa and the Swedish city of Umeå, completed the sea trial last weekend with the ship’s performance tested over three days under RMC’s supervision. This was conducted with strict safety measures in place due to the coronavirus pandemic. Only essential experts from RMC, Wasaline and the equipment manufacturers attended the trial.
The sea trial represents a major milestone in the shipbuilding process to both RMC and Wasaline.
“This was definitely a highlight for us, a culmination of several years of effort. We were able to meet the expectations of our work, ensuring the ship we built can operate as intended,” said Rauma Marine Constructions project manager for Aurora Botnia Johanna Kaijo.
“The event was important to Wasaline, too, as we had the opportunity to get to know our new ship and its operations in marine conditions for the first time with the project’s key personnel,” said Wasaline managing director Peter Ståhlberg.
The sea trial was conducted to assess the performance of the vessel, which will be the world’s most environmentally friendly passenger car ferry when completed. The ship’s equipment was adjusted to operate as efficiently and economically as possible.
“We adjusted the power plant and tested the ship’s speed, propulsion and steering during the sea trials. We ran the ship’s fuel-efficient main engines with different settings and fine-tuned the automation to further improve the vessel’s environmental sustainability. In addition, we were able to ensure in practice that the ship’s design meets the strict criteria of the Clean Design class notation,” Ms Kaijo said.
Both RMC and Wasaline consider the first sea trial a success. “The ship performed well, meeting the requirements set for it. It was a pleasure to witness the successful outcome of years of work,” said Ms Kaijo.
Aurora Botnia will be the first car and passenger ferry in the world with a Clean Design class notation. In practice, this means the ship has been designed and built to significantly exceed the requirements of the Marpol Convention for the prevention of pollution from ships.
The ship’s main engines operate primarily on low-emissions liquefied natural gas, which reduces sulphur, nitrogen and carbon dioxide emissions. In the future, the ship can be powered by biogas. In addition to the fuel solution, Aurora Botnia has an electric power system that can be used when operating to and from ports.
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