MAN ES to convert NCL cruise ship engine to dual-fuel methanol op

German engine manufacturer MAN Energy Solutions (MAN ES) has signed a memorandum of understanding with American cruise company Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings (NCLH) for the retrofit of the four-stroke MAN 48/60 engine to dual-fuel operation.

Courtesy of MAN ES

Under the MOU, the medium-speed MAN 48/60 engine will be made capable of diesel/methanol operation.

The MoU provides for a multi-stage project with the third and final stage involving the completion of field testing and engine handover to NCLH for commercial operation.

“At MAN Energy Solutions, we understand the need to form alliances on the road to decarbonisation. NCLH is a long-time partner with whom we have successfully cooperated on projects in the past and, in the context of this important venture, is the first cruise company that we have chosen to work with,” Bernd Siebert, Head of Retrofit & Upgrades at MAN PrimeServ, said.

“As a fuel, methanol is quickly becoming an option within the market. It is a clean, efficient and safe future-fuel that offers a path to decarbonisation through significant greenhouse-gas reductions, and is net-zero when produced from renewable energy sources.”

“This memorandum underlines our mutual commitment to reducing shipping’s environmental footprint and has the potential to show the way to net-zero for – not just the cruise segment – but the maritime transport industry as a whole,” he concluded.

Last month, MAN ES secured a type approval certificate for its four-stroke 32/44CR medium speed marine engine from DNV.

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The engine uses electronic injection, high-efficiency turbochargers, electronic hardware, and variable valve timing resulting in low emissions and high efficiency, and high specific power output, according to its developer. MAN said earlier that it plans to make solutions for the use of methanol in four-stroke engines available from 2024.

Also in September 2022, NCLH became a member of the Methanol Institute (MI), a global trade association for the methanol industry.

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As part of its strategy of reaching net zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050, the company said it recognizes that a key driver in achieving net zero is the development of alternative fuels along with the global infrastructure to support the creation, distribution, storage and usage of these fuels.