MAN Energy Solutions subsidiary MAN PrimeServ has built up an impressive track record in carrying out dual-fuel conversions. This includes a series of LPG carriers owned by BW LPG, with the 15th and last in this series, BW Malacca, leaving the Yiu Lian Dockyards facility in China last June, having been converted to dual-fuel running.
In this case the ship’s MAN B&W 6G60ME-C9.2 engine was retrofitted to an MAN B&W 6G60ME-C9.5-LGIP dual-fuel type capable of operating on fuel oil and LPG.
MAN PrimeServ has in the past few months announced a number of further projects which seem likely to sustain this side of its workload for some time to come.
Most notably it has recently announced the signing of a contract to retrofit two LPG carriers for Tianjin Southwest Maritime, a Chinese liquefied gas carrier operator.
The COSCO Shipping Heavy Industry (Guangdong) yard will host the conversions of the MAN B&W 6G60ME-C engines on the Gas Gemini and Gas Aquarius to dual-fuel MAN B&W 6G60ME-LGIP units capable of running on LPG. The two vessels will be retrofitted in parallel, beginning May this year.
In a notable first, PrimeServ will jointly carry out the work with CSSC Marine Service (CMS) the after-sales subsidiary of CSSC Marine Power Group. It seems unlikely to be the last such joint conversion.
According to Tao Guohua, vice president, CSSC Marine Power Group: “I believe that the emerging engine retrofit market will be a new area for MAN Energy Solutions to strengthen the existing close co-operation between us.
We are also keenly looking forward to building a strategic co-operation with MAN Energy Solutions in this market and to further extend our co-operation into more portfolios.”
MAN PrimeServ seems equally committed to developing partnerships to carry out further dual-fuel retrofits. Per Rud, senior vice president, says:
“We treat every project on a case-to-case basis but this particular instance is notable in that it represents the first time that we are collaborating on a retrofit project with a licensee’s own after-sales division. It is important that the market should know that MAN PrimeServ is open to working with all partners in order to support shipowners globally.”
The company has a very positive view of the prospects for further dual-fuel conversion contracts in the near future, particularly with regards to large gas carriers.
The business case for such conversion is especially strong, it suggests, as dual-fuel engines give them the scope to operate on their own cargoes.
Currently MAN PrimeServ estimates that there are 154 large gas carriers with single fuel engine technology that could benefit from conversion to LPG-running.
Cost-wise, MAN PrimeServ argues that LPG is a better option than compliant fuel-oil, with high lifetime savings prospects.
By using LPG as a marine fuel, vessels benefit from savings due to lower fuel consumption and full dual-fuel flexibility, which guards against price sensitivity to post-2020 fuel price fluctuations.
MAN PrimeServ is also active in retrofitting engines to run in dual-fuel mode with fuels other than LPG.
For example, last year the company signed two memoranda of understanding, one with Norwegian Cruise Lines and another with Stena Teknik and Proman, to explore projects to retrofit medium-speed MAN 48/60 engines to make them capable of dual-fuel operation with diesel and methanol.
Bernd Siebert, head of retrofit and upgrades at MAN PrimeServ, comments: “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.”
In another significant initiative, MAN Energy Solutions and ABB are to co-operate on a new dual-fuel electric propulsion concept for floating storage regasifiction units (FSRUs) and LNG carriers.
It is expected that the concept could be applied when converting LNG carriers to FSRUs.
The concept is expected to reduce methane slip and fuel costs compared with conventional diesel electric propulsion systems.