Wärtsilä has signed a co-operation agreement with Japan-based Kuribayashi Steamship Co to develop, sell and service gate rudders
As an authorised licence holder and partner, Wärtsilä intends to fully integrate gate rudders within its propulsion product designs and focus on global markets outside Japan.
Wärtsilä will offer gate rudders as an integral part of its propulsion offerings for newbuild vessels and compliance with the Energy Efficiency Design Index (EEDI) will be further facilitated, the company said. The technology is available for both newbuild and existing vessels.
The company said gate rudders will form an integral part of the design. In addition, the company expects capex and opex savings due to increased fuel efficiency, improved manoeuvrability and course stability in both calm and rough sea conditions, as well as reduced noise and vibration.
Instead of the traditional rudder arrangement in the propeller slipstream, the gate rudder is a twin arrangement around the propeller. The concept is applicable to all vessels equipped with conventional propellers.
Wärtsilä said the partnership will speed up deploying gate rudder systems across all vessel classes.
Wärtsilä Marine propulsion director Lars Anderson said the company is seeking to support customers as they look for sustainable new technologies that can reduce operating costs.
Mr Anderson said “We see great potential in this gate rudder technology collaboration. Today’s agreement enables us to support building better and more sustainable vessels today, and Kuribayashi Steamship and the Japanese patent holders are the ideal partners to help us realise this goal.”
Kuribayashi Steampship chairman Sadatomo Kuribayashi, added “The first evaluations of vessel performance on Japanese coastal vessels have shown a significant improvement in efficiency and manoeuvrability.”
In addition to Kuribayashi Steamship Co, the other patent holders in the technology are Kamome Propeller, the National Institute of Maritime, Port and Aviation Technology, Yamanaka Shipbuilding and Professor Noriyuki Sasaki of the University of Strathclyde.