Algoma has signed a contract with the Finnish company Wärtsilä Ship Power for the supply of fresh water exhaust gas scrubbers systems for its Equinox Class vessels, which are currently being built by Chinese shipbuilder Nantong Mingde Heavy Industry Co. Ltd.  The total supply and installation cost of the six scrubber systems is US$12 million. 

The Algoma order is the first for Wärtsilä’s scrubber design. The scrubbers are designed to clean the exhaust gases of the vessels’ main and auxiliary engines, as well as their oil-fired boilers. They will meet the more demanding environmental regulations taking effect over the next three years. The new systems will remove an estimated 97% of sulphur oxide emissions.

A major advantage of fresh water scrubbers is the possibility to operate in a zero discharge mode which means that there is no effluent (waste product) from the scrubbers discharged into lake water. The treated, clean effluents would be held in a holding tank for disposal at an appropriate location. Solid contaminants are disposed of at reception facilities in port. 

The two gearless bulk carriers and four self-unloading bulk carriers are designed specifically for Great-Lakes service. They have been designed with high-efficiency hulls that will require less horsepower to achieve higher speeds than any previous Great Lakes design and thus achieve the lowest fuel consumption and emissions per tonne/kilometre of cargo carried. The first vessel is scheduled to be delivered during the first half of 2013.

In addition to scrubbers, Wärtsilä will supply fuel-efficient main engines, shafting and propellers, auxiliary generators, oily bilge water treatment systems and bow thrusters for Algoma’s Equinox Class vessels.