Wasaline ferry latest to use AI to manage engine performance

Finnish–Swedish ferry operator Wasaline is the latest shipping company to adopt AI-powered engine performance management, following the agreement of a new ten-year Optimised Maintenance deal with Wärtsilä.

The deal came into effect this month, covering the company’s new RoPax ferry, the Aurora Botnia, built at the RMC shipyard in Finland.

The ship’s propulsion is based on a hybrid system with a Wärtsilä 31DF dual-fuel engine and batteries. The engine will operate primarily on LNG fuel but will also be able to use renewable BioLNG, which emits no particulate matter and close to zero levels of nitrogen oxides (NOx) and sulphur oxides (SOx).

The optimised maintenance agreement will feature digital systems based on artificial intelligence to provide predictive maintenance support, with the ability to identify potential faults before they happen. The service also makes it possible to fine tune operations to achieve the lowest possible carbon footprint and minimise unscheduled downtime.

The Aurora Botnia will additionally feature Wärtsilä’s Data Bridge platform, providing continuous data analytics on the the ship’s performance to improve operational and technical efficiency.

The vessel will act as a floating test laboratory linked to Wärtsilä’s Smart Technology Hub in Vaasa, Finland, to support real-time operational monitoring.

“We have worked closely with Wärtsilä for a long time and this partnership has paid huge dividends in terms of efficiency and environmental sustainability. We had no hesitation, therefore, in opting for a Wärtsilä maintenance agreement for this new ship, which will be the first car and passenger ferry in the world to have a Clean Design class notation,” said Peter Ståhlberg, Managing Director, Wasaline.

“It already now meets the proposed ‘EU fit for 55’ programme, which seeks a reduction in CO2 emissions of 55% by 2030.”

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Rob O'Dwyer

Rob is Chief Network Officer and one of the founders of Smart Maritime Network. He also serves as Chairman of the Smart Maritime Council. Rob has worked in the maritime technology sector since 2005, managing editorial for a range of leading publications in the transport and logistics sector. Get in touch by email by clicking here, or on LinkedIn by clicking here.

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