Wärtsilä develops 1st dedicated methanol fuel supply system

Finnish technology company Wärtsilä has developed a dedicated fuel supply system for methanol, MethanolPac, as interest grows in the methanol pathway to decarbonisation.

Photo: Wärtsilä

Combined with the recently introduced Wärtsilä 32 Methanol engine and the company’s retrofit and system integration capabilities, MethanolPac enables the technology company to deliver methanol-capable fuel and power systems across a wide range of vessel segments.

Methanol is a widely available fuel that is carbon neutral when produced from renewable sources and is easier to handle than many other alternative fuels. But with very few vessels currently operating on methanol, industry experience of integrating such systems is limited.

“MethanolPac will reassure ship owners who may not know where to turn for help designing their methanol fuel and power system,” Mathias Jansson, Director, Fuel Gas Supply Systems, Wärtsilä Marine Power, said.

“Wärtsilä does not just provide the methanol engine, we have the systems and capabilities to help customers realise methanol-fuelled vessels in full.”

Specifically, MethanolPac includes both the low- and high-pressure parts of the fuel supply system as well as the related control and safety functions. This includes the high-pressure methanol fuel pump unit, low-pressure pump module, fuel valve train, bunkering stations and tank instrumentation.

According to the Finnish company, MethanolPac will gain its first reference alongside the debut installation of the Wärtsilä 32 Methanol engine on a wind turbine installation vessel under construction for Dutch dredging and offshore ship operator Van Oord.

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The newbuild 32 Methanol engine combines methanol fuel injection technology – first developed for the converted Z40 engines onboard RoPax Stena Germanica in 2015 – with the control and automation systems of the well-established Wärtsilä 32 platform.

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Methanol fuel injection can also be retrofitted to any of the more than 5,000 conventionally fuelled Wärtsilä 32 engines in operation.

MethanolPac means that such retrofits can be simplified, with one supplier providing both engine and fuel supply system.

The Wärtsilä 32 Methanol is applicable either as a main engine or auxiliary generator on a wide range of vessel types from offshore support vessels to deep-sea merchant ships.

Wärtsilä plans to develop an ammonia-fuelled engine concept by 2023, and a hydrogen concept by 2025.