The offshore construction vessel of the Belgian operator, DEME will be built in China at the Cosco shipyard in the Yangtze River Delta Region.

Dubbed as Orion, the 210m long vessel will be the first ever vessel to be powered by liquefied natural gas (LNG).

Wärtsilä will deliver the dual-fuel engines of the vessel along with the LNGPac fuel storage and supply system and propulsion systems which were ordered in the final quarter of 2016 and also in February this year.

DEME newbuilding and conversion department head Jan Gabriel said: “The decision to utilise clean burning LNG fuel represents our commitment to provide environmentally sustainable solutions for our operations.

“Wärtsilä has extensive experience and vast technological know-how in this field, which is why we have selected them as our partner in this project.”

Powering Orion will be four 9-cylinder Wärtsilä 46DF dual-fuel electric propulsion engines as well as two 6-cylinder Wärtsilä 20DF dual-fuel engines.

The Finnish manufacturer revealed that it will also provide DEME with two customized retractable thrusters, four underwater demountable thrusters, and its LNGPac storage and supply system. Besides, Wärtsilä will handle other activities such as commissioning, extended project management services and site supervision.

Wärtsilä business development special vessels general manager Arthur Boogaard said: “We are pleased to have been involved in this newbuild project from the conceptual design stage, since this enables our input on providing the most fuel efficient solution. We are also delighted that the Wärtsilä 46DF engine has been selected, as the dual-fuel version of this well proven and popular engine has only recently been introduced.”

Delivery of the Wärtsilä equipment to the shipyard has been slated for the latter part of the year.

On the other hand, Orion is likely to be delivered to DEME next year after which it will take over operations featuring offshore wind farm installations across the world.

Earlier in the month, Wärtsilä was awarded the contract to supply equipment and maintenance for FSRU and LNG carrier vessels owned by Norwegian operator, Höegh LNG.

Image: The world’s first LNG fuelled offshore construction vessel being built for DEME will be powered by Wärtsilä. Photo: courtesy of Wärtsilä.