Wärtsilä solutions minimize emissions for French ferries

Ropax ferries being built for French operator La Méridionale Wärtsilä will supply the engines, fuel supply system and thrusters for two new Ropax ferries being built for French operator La Méridionale, a subsidiary of CMA CGM. (Photo: Stirling Design International)

Technology group Wärtsilä announced it will supply the engines, fuel gas supply system and thrusters for two new Ropax ferries being built for French operator La Méridionale, a subsidiary of CMA CGM. The vessels will be built at the China Merchants Jinling Shipyard (Weihai) Co., Ltd., and will operate between Marseille and Corsica. The 180-meter-long ships will be able to accommodate 1,000 passengers as well as cargo freight.

CMA CGM is adopting LNG as the primary fuel for the new ships as well as preparing them to operate on alternative fuels such as biogas and synthetic methane, as these become available at scale. For each ship, Wärtsilä will supply two 12-cylinder, one 10-cylinder and one 8-cylinder 31DF engine, all incorporating Wärtsilä’s NextDF technology. Operating on LNG, the NextDF version of the 31DF further reduces methane emissions and nitrogen oxide (NOx) compared to the already emission-efficient standard 31DF, Wärtsilä said.

The company will also supply its LNGPac fuel gas supply system for LNG-fueled ships, as well as thrusters.

“The design of these two Ropax vessels reflects our commitment to reducing the carbon footprint within our own fleet. These will be among the most energy-efficient, low-emission ships in operation globally, and we value the support from Wärtsilä, whose technology and solutions help make this ambition possible,” said Xavier Leclercq, vice president, CMA Ships, CMA CGM.

“The drive towards net-zero emissions is one of the most important challenges facing the industry today,” said Stefan Nysjö, vice president of Power Supply, Wärtsilä Marine. “That’s why we are pleased to support our longstanding partners CMA CGM and China Merchants Jinling Shipyard (Weihai) Co., Ltd. with our integrated solutions – ensuring these ferries are able to benefit from outstanding fuel efficiency, operational reliability and a significant reduction in GHG emissions.”

The Wärtsilä equipment is scheduled to be delivered in mid-2025, with the ferries expected to enter service during the first half of 2027.

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