MAN Diesel & Turbo has secured a significant order from MSC, underlining the market's acceptance of its new-generation container ship engine design
The news that MAN Diesel & Turbo has won a major order from the Geneva-based carrier, Mediterranean Shipping Company (MSC) for a series of 11 23,000 TEU-capacity container ships, underscores the popularity of its new engine design. Each of these newbuildings, six of which will be built by Samsung Heavy Industries (SHI) and five by Daewoo Shipping Marine Engineering (DSME), will be powered by MAN B&W 11G95ME main engines.
The contract in itself is significant and highlights the tremendous success of this relatively new engine type over the past two years. There are now 44 container ships in service with G95 series engines, all delivered since 2016, and a total of 88 orders placed. MAN Diesel & Turbo has carved out a significant share of the larger container ship market within a remarkably short space of time.
Discussing the concept, MAN vice president sales and promotions two-stroke business Bjarne Foldager said: “This is an engine that has been developed and built very much with the needs of slow steaming container line operations in mind. The G-type engine’s longer stroke means it offers lower revolutions per minute and combined with an optimised engine design and the use of a larger propeller, this means much lower fuel consumption and reduced CO2 emissions.”
The MSC ships will be powered by a 95-bore engine, which is the largest available in the G-series programme. Indeed, the 11-cylinder version of this engine type that will feature on the new 23,000 TEU ships will be among the largest marine engines in the world. Only the 12-cylinder, 95-bore engine design within the G-series is bigger, and this has yet to feature within a container ship newbuilding project.
Mr Foldager added: “These are big, powerful engines that have been optimised to achieve the lowest possible fuel consumption, which is what MSC specified as a priority. The owner wanted a combination of power and efficiency to achieve the minimum unit transport cost per container, and we have been able to deliver an engine design that fully meets that objective.”
While MAN Diesel and Turbo has a long reference list for the G95 series engines, including a number already installed on board MSC ships, the operational experience of this engine type is relatively short, going back only two years.
Mr Foldager said: “The engines we will be delivering to MSC are based on a proven design and will not feature any major changes from units delivered to date. Based on the operational data we have so far, these engines are performing well in the field and are achieving the efficiency levels we anticipated. But, of course, we are continually looking to improve the design and performance of these engines and we will be making some minor adjustments based on operational experience.”
“These are big, powerful engines that have been optimised to achieve the lowest possible fuel consumption, which is what MSC specified as a priority" Bjarne Foldager (MAN Diesel & Turbo)
MAN Diesel & Turbo anticipates no significant complexities in integrating the G95 series engines into the new 23,000 TEU container ships designed for MSC, although installing any engine weighing 2,210 tonnes, as these do, does not come without its challenges.
Mr Foldager said:“The expertise of the engine builders in South Korea, Hyundai Heavy Industries and Doosan Engine, which will construct engines for SHI and DSME respectively, is critical. Experts from MAN Diesel and Turbo, supported by the engine teams in Copenhagen, will be embedded at their factories during the manufacturing process in South Korea to ensure that the engines produced fully match MSC’s requirements.”
G95 series in contention
MAN Diesel & Turbo is currently working on a number of other large container ship projects. Hyundai Merchant Marine is seeking to build a series of 23,000 TEU and 14,000 TEU vessels, and the Copenhagen-based company is working with South Korean engine builders on proposals for these ships. The G95 series is being suggested for this project and others being worked on for Greek, Taiwanese and Asian shipowners.
Enquiries from the container ship market currently include requests for dual-fuel engines that can run on both conventional bunker fuel oils and LNG. MAN Diesel and Turbo can offer a comparable G95ME-GI engine type, that is fully compliant with the global sulphur emissions regulations coming up.
Mr Foldager said: “Many shipowners are evaluating whether they should build ships with dual-fuel ME-GI engines. The advantage of the G95 series option is that the ME-GI version is based on the same combustion technology, so owners can be reassured that if they opt for G95ME-GI engines they will get the same fuel efficiency levels.”
MAN Diesel & Turbo will officially launch its LGIP engine range later this year, which will run on propane gas. The company has already received the first order for this engine type, outside of the container shipping sector, but the technology is considered well suited for large new-generation container ships as well. “The advantage of using propane is that it is readily available and the supply chain infrastructure is less complex,” noted Mr Foldager.
The company is also upgrading its offer for smaller container ship types, including those engaged in feeder trades. The company is rolling out its MK 10 engine range for this market, available in four sizes from 60 to 90 bore, which offers significantly lower fuel consumption levels than the earlier generation MK 9 engines. The new MK 10 engines feature cylinders positioned closer together, allowing the overall size and weight to be reduced, while new types of connecting rods for the pistons introduce greater flexibility into the design.
“We are confident that the container shipping market will embrace the benefits of the new MK 10 platform,” said Mr Foldager. “It represents a simpler design with fewer components, lower total weight and reduced fuel consumption. As such it offers a significant improvement for container ship owners.”
Bjarne Foldager (MAN & Diesel Turbo)
Mr Foldager has been vice president of sales and promotion, two-stroke engines, MAN Diesel & Turbo, since September 2016.
His career started as a shipping trainee at Maersk Line, where he spent one year in Maersk Line in the reefer and terminal efficiency department, and his second shipping trainee year in Maersk Tankers in operations. He spent 25 years at A.P. Moller - Maersk Group, with jobs spanning Maersk Line fleet operations and various positions within Maersk Tankers.
His later roles included global head of operations for Maersk Tankers between 2014 and 2016, where he was responsible for all commercial operational matters for Maersk Tankers globally. Previous to this, he was managing director of Maersk Malaysia and before that, AP Moller Singapore Pte managing director and head of Maersk crew management.