World’s ‘most efficient engine’ to power Steam Packet’s new Manxman

The Isle of Man Steam Packet Company’s new flagship, Manxman, will be powered by what the Guinness World Records describes as the ‘world’s most efficient four-stroke diesel engine’.

Technology group Wärtsilä has been chosen to supply the new vessel with two eight-cylinder and two 10-cylinder engines, which are recognised for a high level of fuel efficiency which reduces exhaust emissions.

The Wärtsilä 31 engines will be installed at the Hyundai Mipo Dockyard (HMD) in South Korea where Manxman is being constructed. Delivery to the shipyard is expected to commence in early 2022.

Work on physically constructing a replacement for the conventional ferry, Ben-my-Chree, is due to start later this year with the new vessel expected to commence service in Spring 2023.

Isle of Man Steam Packet Company Chief Executive Mark Woodward says reliability, efficiency and low operating costs were all key considerations in the Company’s selection.

He explained: ‘This is a major investment in our fleet and the ultimate aim for when we introduce the new addition is to provide an even higher level of service to the Island community and our customers. Alongside our drive for greater efficiency and lower emissions levels, there is also an ever-increasing focus on the environmental aspects of marine transportation so we were naturally keen to select an engine that can deliver sustainable operations.

‘We’ll continue to work closely with Wärtsilä design engineers and the ship builder HMD and look forward to seeing this come to fruition after many months of planning.’

James Royston, Isle of Man Steam Packet Company Fleet Operations Manager, added: ‘After considering many marine engine manufacturers, Wärtsilä was selected for a number of factors. The firm not only has the experience and track-record required for such a project but the engine’s diesel consumption is on average around eight-per-cent lower than similar sized engines available on the market.

‘In terms of system integration and operational optimisation, we will be able to run a variety of engine combinations to ensure they are always running as close to their most efficient, while suiting both Manxman and the routes it will serve.’ 

Full details of the hybrid propulsion system, which includes energy storage batteries and waste heat recovery, will be provided once the full system design is completed.

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