BW Gemini became the world’s first commercial vessel to be propelled by a two-stroke LPG dual-fuel engine, following its conversion at the Yui Lian Shipyard in Shenzen, China
Supporting the project remotely due to coronavirus restrictions, MAN PrimeServ, MAN Energy Solutions’ after-sales division, reported the successful conversion of the LPG carrier’s main engine from an MAN B&W 6G60ME-C9.2 type to an MAN B&W 6G60ME- LGIP dual-fuel type capable of operating on fuel oil and LPG. BW Gemini is part of the fleet of Oslo-listed BW LPG – the world’s leading owner and operator of LPG vessels.
The successful conversion of BW Gemini is the first of 12 ordered by BW LPG for a series of vessels in its fleet.
For BW LPG executive vice president technical and operations LPG Pontus Berg, the choice to retrofit the existing fleet over constructing newbuilds was clear. “Retrofitting allows us to minimise our carbon footprint – the process emits up to 97% less CO2 compared to a newbuilding construction,” said Mr Berg. “Retrofitting also means that we do not add additional tonnage that the world does not need. In addition, BW LPG’s fleet is already widely recognised among charterers for its efficiency, and so retrofitting 12 of its vessels to dual-fuel LPG would help to further reinforce the company’s strong reputation in this area.”
Using LPG as a ship fuel results in lower emissions, eliminating most SOx emissions, and reducing particulate matter and black carbon emissions. When used with a two-stroke engine, LPG can also significantly cut NOx emissions and reduce greenhouse gas emissions.
MAN Energy Solutions chief executive Dr Uwe Lauber, said “The industry is moving towards a zero-carbon future and there is a strong global push towards sustainability. As we pass the 2020 sulphur cap and get closer to future IMO targets in 2030 and 2050, companies that show strong corporate commitment to sustainability will become more commercially attractive. In this context, this retrofit project represents an important milestone and case study for the future of our industry.”
MAN Energy Solutions chief sales officer and executive board member Wayne Jones OBE, said “MAN PrimeServ’s dual-fuel expertise helped BW LPG to get a clear picture of the economics involved in this ambitious retrofit project. Although it requires significant upfront investment, the returns will be positive in both financial and environmental terms and showcase perfectly BW LPG’s commitment to action on sustainability. It also displays the adaptability of MAN Energy Solutions’ technology and how retrofitting our engines can future-proof them to handle whatever alternative fuels come to prominence in the decades ahead.”
The groundwork for the conversion started in September 2018, when MAN Energy Solutions announced the first four BW LPG retrofit orders for its new MAN B&W ME-LGIP LGP-powered engine. The announcement was made in advance of the official launch of the engine at its Research Centre Copenhagen, with the contract signing during the event.
Subsequently, in February 2020, the type-approval/parent engine test was performed at licensee STX works in South Korea with the TAT approved by all classification societies.
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