New engine for MR series

Mar 03 2014

Last December, Waterfront Shipping confirmed that it had reached an agreement with Mitsui OSK (MOL), Westfal-Larsen (WL) and Marinvest/Skagerack Invest to build six MRs, with an option for an additional three.

They will all be delivered during 2016. These 50,000 dwt MR2s will be fitted with MAN ME-LGI flex fuel engines running on methanol, fuel oil, marine diesel oil, or gas oil.

Vancouver (BC) - based Waterfront shipping is a wholly owned subsidiary of Methanex Corp - a transporter of bulk chemicals and clean petroleum products.

With the growing demand for cleaner marine fuel to meet environmental regulations coming into effect in  Northern Europe and other regions, methanol continues to be a promising alternative fuel for ships, the company said.

“We are very excited to continue investing in methanol-based marine fuel. This announcement reinforces our commitment to continue investing in sustainable technology.

Methanol is a sulphur-free fuel that provides many environmental and clean burning benefits. With fuel prices increasing and upcoming shipping regulations requiring the use of cleaner marine fuel, methanol-based fuel is a promising alternative which reduces emissions and fuel costs,” said Jone Hognestad, president, Waterfront Shipping, at the time of the announcement.

Waterfront Shipping will charter these vessels to replace older vessels in its fleet and to support increased demand from Methanex Corp’s growth business, including the relocation of two methanol plants from Chile to Geismar, Louisiana.

MOL, Marinvest/ Skagerrak Invest and WL will each own two MR2s, plus one optional vessel. The ships will be built by Hyundai Mipo Dockyard and Minaminippon Shipbuilding.

As for the main engines, MAN Diesel & Turbo officially designated the ME-LGI engine - ME-B9.3-LGI.

HHI-EMD, Hyundai Heavy Industries’ engine and machinery division, will construct the engines. For the MOL contract, Minaminippon Shipbuilding will construct the newbuildings, while Mitsui Engineering & Shipbuilding (MES) will build the engines.

Ole Grøne, MAN Diesel & Turbo senior vice president – low speed promotion & sales, said: “This order represents a real market breakthrough for our liquid gas injection engine and is the first such, commercial project that is not reliant on external funding.

Simply put, the ME-LGI engine was chosen for these carriers because it is the engine best suited to the application. The LGI engine is designed to handle low-flash-point, lowsulphur fuels like LPG and methanol, etc.

Consequently, its green credentials are striking with emissions of sulphur being almost completely eliminated.”

MAN Diesel & Turbo announced the development of a new MAN B&W ME-LGI dual fuel engine on 1st July, 2013. This new engine expands the company’s dual-fuel portfolio, enabling the use of more sustainable fuels such as methanol, ethanol and LPG. The engines will eventually run on 95% methanol, ignited by 5% pilot oil.

“With increasing fuel prices and upcoming shipping regulations, we identified the need to develop an engine that can enable ships to run on alternative fuels with enhanced environmental benefits. The ability of our MELGI engine to run on sulphur-free fuels offers great potential,” said Grøne.

MAN developed the ME-LGI engine in response to interest from the shipping world in operating on alternatives to heavy fuel oil.

Methanol and LPG carriers have already operated at sea for many years and many more LPG tankers are currently being built as the global LPG infrastructure grows.

With a viable, convenient and economic fuel already on board, exploiting a fraction of the cargo to power a vessel makes sense with another important factor being the benefit to the environment. MAN had previously said that it is already working towards a Tier IIIcompatible ME-LGI version.

MAN’s G-type programme entered the market in October, 2010. The ‘G’ prefix before an engine means it has a design that follows the principles of the large-bore, Mark 9 engine series that MAN introduced in 2006 with an ultra-long stroke that reduces engine speed, thereby paving the way for ship designs with high-efficiency.

G-type engines’ longer stroke results in a lower rev/min for the engine driving the propeller. This lower optimum engine speed allows the use of a larger propeller and is, ultimately, significantly more efficient in terms of engine propulsion. Together with an optimised engine design, this reduces fuel consumption and reduces CO2 emissions.

Since its introduction, more than 350 engines have borne the G-prefix, MAN said.

Refit solution

MAN has also introduced a retrofit solution for the low-load optimisation of the engine manufacturer’s low speed mechanical engines fitted with single turbochargers.

Called EcoCam, MAN claimed that the system offers significant fuel savings of 2-5 g/kW, with short payback times also claimed. It delivers an increased P-max cylinder pressure through adjustable exhaust-valve timing.

Christian Ludwig, head of retrofit and upgrade at MAN Diesel & Turbo said; “Slow steaming is now an established industry standard across all segments, including the tanker and bulker markets and MAN Diesel & Turbo continuously seeks to further refine its technology and improve efficiency.

“The MAN EcoCam adjusts the exhaust valve timing between 10 and 60% load, giving a 2-5 g/kW fuel saving with minimal to no interruption to a vessel’s schedule during installation. It has been thoroughly tested and we are happy that we are now able to provide our customers with a low-load tuning method for mechanically controlled engines with a single turbocharger,” he said.

The company is initially rolling rolling out the MAN EcoCam to a number of its customers with MAN B&W S50MC- C type engines and will gradually introduce the system across its mid and large bore engine programme.

It is has a flexible cam profile, called virtual cam, the company said. The profile is controlled hydraulically by adjusting the amount of actuator oil in the hydraulic pushrod.

Low-load tuning has an impact on torsional vibration and NOx. When a low-load tuning method is installed on an engine, the torsional vibrations’ impact and the NOx level have to be taken into consideration to ensure that the vibrations’ impact is not harming the engine and that the NOx level is in compliance with IMO regulations. The torsional vibration calculation and NOx amendment are included when purchasing the EcoCam. EcoCam’s effect on fuel reduction has been verified by two independent testbed installations and on board a vessel in service.

The earlier closing of the exhaust valve provides a higher compression pressure, thereby delivering a higher combustion pressure and lower fuel oil consumption.

Flexible exhaust valve timing has traditionally only been available to electronically-controlled engines, the company explained.

Depending on the engine’s load profile, the EcoCam typically generates savings in the region of 2-5 g/kWh. For smaller engines, this can result in a payback period of as little as 18 months, as is the case, for example, with a 6S60MC-C engine with 6,000 annual running hours, MAN Diesel & Turbo claimed.

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