Case Study

Invertek helps Canadian marine contamination response team keep fleet efficient

Invertek helps Canadian marine contamination response team keep fleet efficient


Exiting hydraulic powered thrusters were inefficient and potentially less environmentally friendly.


The installation of electric thrusters and winches controlled by Optidrive P2s has ensured greater efficiencies and less likelihood of environmental contamination, unlike hydraulic systems.

Western Canada Marine Response Corp

An organisation dedicated to protecting wildlife, economic and environmental sensitivities along the coast of British Columbia, Canada has made three of its new vessels more efficient thanks to Invertek Drives variable frequency drive (VFD) technology.

Western Canada Marine Response Corp. (WCMRC) responds to marine contamination along 27,000kms of coastline using a fleet of dedicated vessels equipped with specialized equipment and teams to minimise the impact and to contain any contamination.

WCMRC’s newest pollution control vessels the Gulf Sentinel, Strait Sentinel and the Coastal Sentinel, have recently been commissioned at ASL Shipyard, Singapore.

Electric Bow-Thruster and Winch Control

The three vessels have been fitted with Invertek Drives Optidrive P2 55kW and 75kW VFD, a type-approved by DNV Classification Society for their bow thruster and winches control.

The drives system was supplied by Invertek Drives Far East Pte Ltd. The scope of supply includes thruster control, electric motor, control panels, commissioning and sea trial.

Being an environmentally conscious organisation, WCMRC has opted for green technology for their thruster and winch control in contrast to less efficient hydraulic systems often used for bow thruster control.

“The installation and commissioning of the electric system, controlled by the Optidrive P2, enhance the manoeuvrability of the vessel, the control of the thrusters is much more accurate and precise,” said Henry Beh, General Manager of Invertek Drives Far East Pte Ltd.

More energy-efficient and easy to maintain

“Additionally, the electrical thruster system is more energy-efficient and easy to maintain, there is no problem with hydraulic oil or contaminants leaking at hose connectors and valves.”

The Optidrive P2 provides advanced motor control and can be easily installed and commissioned. Designed for demanding and industrial applications, it also includes an integrated keypad and display making it easy for commissioning.

Its design and technology also mean it can provide optimum control and maximum efficiency when operating on older motor designs, or newer high-efficiency designs.

Lower starting current of the motor

The Optidrive VFD has a much lower starting current of the motor, compared to the traditional starting method, thus allowing for optimum sizing of vessel power generation system, and further enhances fuel efficiency.

Originally established in 1976, WCMRC expanded in 1995 to cover Canada’s entire west coast. Transport Canada certified, it has 2,300 members. It is mandatory for any vessel of a certain size using a Canadian port to be a member and contribute financially to the organisation.

Matthew Mylemans, project manager at WCMRC said they wanted to make their vessels more efficient while also ensuring they are less of a risk to the environment through the improvements of transferring from hydraulics to electric.

Smooth speed adjustment as a result of the VFD

“The inclusion of the Optidrive P2 has ensured very smooth speed adjustment of the motors which is important for manoeuvrability, especially important in situations where a response is being undertaken to lay booms and other work to contain contamination.

“The 100 per cent efficiency of the thrusters is a great result and we’re looking forward to adding this green technology to the fleet.”

More information about the Optidrive P2 and other Invertek Drives VFD technology and products can be found at