Japan’s First ME-GI Successfully Passes FAT
The FAT (Factory Acceptance Test) of the first ME-GI engine in Japan recently took place at the Tamano Works of Mitsui Engineering & Shipbuilding Co., Ltd. (MES). Overseen by the DNV GL classification society, the engine is the first of two 8S70ME-C8.2-GI units for delivery to VT Halter Marine of Mississippi, USA for installation aboard two 2,400-teu ConRo ships for Crowley Maritime Corporation, USA.
The Crowley order
Crowley, the marine solutions, transportation and logistics company, ordered the ME-GI engines, along with 3 × MAN 9L28/32DF auxiliary engines for each vessel, in early-2014.
The ConRo ships – with container Lift-On/Lift-Off (LO/LO) and Roll-On/Roll-Off (RO/RO) – will be named ‘El Coquí’ and ‘Taíno’, and are scheduled for delivery in the second and fourth quarters of 2017, respectively.
The vessels will be two of the world’s first LNG-powered ConRo ships, designed to travel at speeds up to 22 knots, and carry various sized containers, along with hundreds of vehicles in enclosed, weather-tight car decking.
Crowley states that the vessels will offer customers fast ocean-transit times and, being powered by LNG, will set a new standard for environmentally responsible shipping.
Crowley selected the high-pressure, Diesel-cycle ME-GI engines due to their high efficiency and power concentration. The ME-GI’s ability to avoid derating, and its negligible methane slip, also contributed to its selection.
Crowley reports that the newbuildings will reduce the amount of CO2 emissions attributable to each container by approximately 38%. Additionally, the ships will meet or exceed all regulatory requirements and have the CLEAN notation, which requires limitation of operational emissions and discharges, as well as the Green Passport, both issued by DNV GL.
The ME-GI engine
The ME-GI engine represents the culmination of many years’ work, and gives shipowners and operators the option of utilising fuel or gas depending on relative price and availability, as well as environmental considerations. The ME-GI uses high-pressure gas injection that allows it to maintain the numerous positive attributes of MAN B&W low-speed engines that have made them the default choice of the maritime community. The ME-GI is not affected by the multiple de-ratings, fuel-quality adjustments or large methane-slip issues as have been seen with other, dual-fuel solutions.
MAN Diesel & Turbo sees significant opportunities arising for gas-fuelled tonnage as fuel prices rise and modern exhaust-emission limits tighten. Indeed, research indicates that the ME-GI engine delivers significant reductions in CO2, NOx and SOx emissions. Furthermore, the ME-GI engine’s negligible methane slip makes it the most environmentally friendly technology available. As such, the ME-GI engine represents a highly efficient, flexible, propulsion-plant solution.
An ME-LGI counterpart that uses LPG, methanol and other liquid gasses is also available, and has already been ordered.