Wärtsilä is to supply the main propulsion generating sets for a new, environmentally sound, double ended ferry.

The ship, which is the first gas fuelled ferry for a domestic route in Denmark, will operate between Jutland and the island of Samsø and will carry passengers, cars and trucks. The vessel, designed by the Danish OSK-ShipTech A/S, will be built for the Danish municipality Samsø Kommune by Remontowa Shipbuilding S.A. in Gdansk, Poland. Wärtsilä signed the contract in June.

The ferry will be powered by four Wärtsilä 20DF dual-fuel engines running on liquefied natural gas (LNG) and will have extremely low emission levels. The dual-fuel engine technology pioneered by Wärtsilä allows a seamless switch to conventional marine fuels if necessary, thus providing the operator with a high level of redundancy.

The new ferry project is considered as being a state-of-the-art endeavour by setting an environmental benchmark for inland ferries, and is being closely followed by other municipalities and governmental bodies in Denmark and abroad. Samsø Kommune actively promotes environmental sustainability through its 'Green Island' image featuring renewable energy, low pollution and recycling activities. The vessel is scheduled to be operational in autumn 2014.

The new ferry will be one of the smallest ships to be powered by Wärtsilä 20DF engines. It is also the first Danish ferry to be operated on LNG fuel, and the design of the 100m long double-ended ship is tailored to its operating profile and route. Bunkering of the LNG is planned to take place in the Hou harbour in Jutland.

"The overriding priorities for the owners were to achieve the highest possible level of operational reliability to support the local business but with focus on environmental sustainability, which, among others, means to ensure excellent overall efficiency in energy consumption. By selecting Wärtsilä technology these aims will be met, and we are delighted to be a partner in this trend setting project," said Mr Aaron Bresnahan, Vice President Sales, Wärtsilä Ship Power.