Strategies for success enliven day two discussionsTaken from: Marine Propulsion & Auxiliary Machinery news desk, 8 March 2012
The lively pace set on the first day of the Annual Marine Propulsion Conference continued into the second with delegates buoyed by the previous evening’s gala dinner and the inspiring talk given by after dinner speaker, intrepid round-the-world explorer Rona Cant.
The Engine Forum opened the day. This session is a cornerstone of the conference. Uniquely, it gathers on one stage the top technical representatives from the world’s engine OEMs – from high-speed to low-speed – to explain, discuss, debate and predict operational trends and developments in marine engineering. This year it took ‘getting the critical decisions right’ as its overarching theme.
Dr-Ing Ioannis Vlaskos, director large engines and gas engines, Ricardo, chaired the session which saw Michael F. Pedersen, head of the emission reduction technology department, MAN Diesel & Turbo discuss after treatment, exhaust gas recirculation and methane slip; Juhani Hupli, vice president, ship power technology, Wärtsilä, profile the latest developments in two and four stroke technologies; Mike Aufdermauer, chief engineer, marine engineering group, Cummins, explain how the company is preparing for tier four final emissions and Gerard Torneman, AB Volvo Penta, make the case for multi engine installation as a means of reducing overall emissions and life cycle costs.
The next session on ‘The gas-powered ship’ was of particular interest and stirred up some lively discussion. Although LNG is widely seen as the marine fuel of the future, there are many questions surrounding the economic viability of a gas-fuelled merchant fleet and the infrastructure needed to support it.
Other pertinent questions considered during this session were how do gas-fuelled ships perform; what are the implications for newbuilding and retrofit projects; are competent crew available to operate the ships; what sort of crew training is needed and available to support gas-powered vessels; and are the safety implications well understood?
The gas-powered ship presentations were introduced by session chairman Sean Bond, ABS director, environmental solutions, who also described the development of the International Code on Safety for Gas-Fuelled Ships (IGF Code) in his opening remarks. Although the IGF Code is at a relatively advanced stage in the IMO drafting process, there are still some major issues that need to be resolved.
Søren H Jensen, director research & development for MAN Diesel & Turbo, described the Helios project and the development of the technology for an efficient, gas injection, slow speed diesel engine. Following on, the full range of considerations facing the designers of an LNG-powered, 14,000 TEU ultra-large containership were outlined by BV’s Damien de Castelet and Christophe Capitant.
The gas-powered ship session was completed by a joint Germanischer Lloyd/Tarbit Shipping paper and video presentation on the coastal product tanker Bit Viking. Bit Viking is the first tanker to have its diesel engine converted for LNG operation. Wärtsilä, the engine manufacturer, not only transformed its existing W46 unit on the 25,000 dwt tanker into a W50DF dual-fuel engine but also provided its LNGPac LNG bunker tank and gas fuel delivery package for the vessel.
A hall filled to capacity took part the last session which took strategising for success – case studies in operational excellence as its theme. Delegate feedback overwhelmingly confirmed that the decision to stay until the end of the conference was thoroughly worthwhile and justified.
The opening presentation was a joint case study on the impact of slow steaming on low-speed engines delivered by Dr Ing Hinrich Mohr, AVL, and Michael Marbach, fleet team manager, Reederei Blue Star. This paper was prepared especially for the conference and shared for the first time original data on this groundbreaking study.
The next paper by Sandy Kumaran, technical manager, Thome Ship Management, offered a candid and critical assessment of operator feedback on the options available to meet future regulatory and commercial pressures.
From here the session broadened into a panel debate. The presenters were joined by two more ship operators – Vivek Puri, Chief Technical Officer, Global Ship Lease and Philippe Renaud, Energy Manager, CMA Ships.
The animated question and answer session referenced not only the papers but also some of the themes raised earlier in the conference, notably issues around fuels and lubes as well as training and means of extracting greater operational efficiency through the drive train as well as operations more widely.
Dates for the 2013 event will be announced shortly. Papers from the 2012 event are available for purchase via www.rivieramm.com/events