MAN Diesel & Turbo’s G50 engine has successfully passed its Type Approval Test (TAT) at Mitsui in Japan.
When it enters service the engine will power the world’s first ethane-fuelled eco-friendly liquefied ethane gas (LEG) carrier – the first of three such vessels to be built in China by Sino Pacific Shipyard for the German ship owner, Hartmann Reederei.
Besides operating on ethane, the flexible ME-GI engine will be able to operate on HFO, MDO and gas oil and the boil-off gas from its cargo. Propulsion efficiency will be further improved by employing an MAN Kappel propeller with rudder-bulb system.
The G50-type has been developed with an eye on reducing production costs and accordingly features a lower weight and shorter length than its predecessor, while maintaining the same power output.
The DNV-GL classification society oversaw proceedings in Japan where the engine was tested as an ME-C type running on MGO. Its gas system also successfully completed a pressure and function test. The first test and operation on ethane gas will take place after loading in Texas aboard the 36,000 m3 LEG carrier once ethane gas has been bunkered, after which the engine will officially be named a 7G50ME-GIE (Gas Injection Ethane) type.
MAN Diesel & Turbo says that, depending on relative price and availability and environmental considerations, the ME-GI engine will give ship owners and operators the option of using either HFO or gas. The firm has also developed an ME-LGI version of the new technology that is capable of operating on methanol and is currently developing an ME-LGI version capable of running on LPG, the latter being deliverable from Q2, 2018.
MAN Diesel & Turbo sees significant opportunities arising for gas-fuelled tonnage as concerns about both CO2 and sulphur oxide (SOx) emissions increase. Research indicates that the ME-GI engine delivers significant reductions in CO2, NOx and SOx emissions and in contrast with competing engines has only a negligible unburnt gas slip, consequently adding very little to greenhouse gas emissions. In addition, the diesel combustion principle leaves no formaldehyde emissions. Altogether this makes the ME-GI engine series the most environmentally-friendly technology available for marine propulsion.
Hartmann developed the ethylene carrier Eco Star 36K in cooperation with engineering consultants HB Hunte Engineering.
The new vessel type differs fundamentally from conventional gas carriers with its superstructures located at the bow to optimize weight distribution. This leads to a reduced demand for ballast water and therefore reduced fuel consumption and emissions.
The new ‘Svelte’ bow design enables the vessel to improve seakeeping at higher transit speeds and improves fuel efficiency. Another significant feature is the carrier’s innovative ‘Star Trilobe’ tank that allows an increase in cargo capacity by nearly 30 per cent, reducing shipping costs through economies of scale. Autonomous gas fuel tanks constructed for ethane and LNG enable an operating range of about 10,000 nautical miles.
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