Photo: Courtesy of MAN ES

MAN ES: Dual-fuel retrofits for shipping decarbonisation

German engine manufacturer MAN Energy Solutions says dual-fuel retrofits are already proven on MAN B&W low-speed engines and are key towards decarbonisation.

MAN ES: Dual-fuel retrofits for shipping decarbonisation
Courtesy of MAN ES

MAN Energy Solutions notes that the modular design of the conventionally fuelled, low-speed ME-C engine has extensive retrofit options in regard to alternative green fuels. In addition, MAN says such retrofits already have a proven track record. 

Thomas S. Hansen, head of promotion, said: “At MAN Energy Solutions, we design and service many of the global fleet’s low-speed engines, in effect contributing to worldwide CO2 emissions. As a result, we feel a great responsibility in pursuing decarbonisation and thus we are pleased that many sources predict that more than half of all newbuildings will specify dual-fuel engines after 2025. Since ships have an average lifetime of around 25 years, the retrofit of vessels will be necessary in order for the industry to decarbonise.”

Indeed, as the demand for engines and ships designated ‘future-fuel ready’  increases, MAN Energy Solutions says it has a proven track record with such conversions. It has already completed 16 such projects with the first dating back to 2015.

So, all of MANs’ ME-C low-speed engines ordered today can be converted to alternative fuels at a later time.

The company presently offers multiple options for the retrofit conversion of ME-C engines including the variants:

  • -GI (LNG);
  • -GIE (ethane);
  • -LGIP (LPG);
  • -LGIM (methanol).

In addition, it says it is working towards being able to offer a retrofit option using ammonia as fuel.

Potential for dual-fuel retrofits

Klaus Rasmussen, head of projects, said: “A massive number of vessels in the current, ocean-going fleet have the potential for conversion, and our broad and continuously expanding portfolio of dual-fuel engines offers extensive options when it comes to retrofitting. The huge market potential within, for example, S/G50-, G95- and G80-bores for conversion to methanol running as ME-LGIM units is especially notable.” 

MAN Energy Solutions’ engine designs currently drive some 22,000 vessels globally. Of these, 3,500 are with the potential for conversion to operate on green fuels. Approximately 2,300 of these vessels are appropriate candidates for retrofitting. This would save around 86 million tonnes of CO2 emissions annually when fueled by carbon-neutral fuels.

Hansen added: “Today, ship owners trust us when ordering our proven, dual-fuel technology. However, they also trust our conventionally fueled engines, safe in the knowledge that we can convert them to operation on whatever future-fuel might be relevant in 5-10 years from now. A recent, prominent example of this is our successful retrofit work for the BW LPG fleet.” 

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In December 2020, Oslo-listed BW LPG announced that it would retrofit a further three MAN engines to dual-fuel types. This brought the number of such conversions to 15 with all to be carried out by MAN PrimeServ.

BW LPG previously commented: “Retrofitting allows us to minimise our carbon footprint; the process emits up to 97 per cent less carbon dioxide compared to a newbuilding construction. 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 amongst charterers for its efficiency, and so retrofitting its vessels to dual-fuel LPG would help to further reinforce the company’s strong reputation in this area.”