MAN Diesel & Turbo announces new ME-LGI dual-fuel engine for methanol and LPG; Waterfront Shipping signs LOI for four units
|New fuel booster valve for ME-LGI engine showing the main constituent parts. Click to enlarge.|
On 1 July MAN Diesel & Turbo announced the development of a new ME-LGI dual fuel engine. The new engine expands the company’s dual-fuel portfolio, enabling the use of more sustainable fuels such as methanol and Liquefied Petroleum Gas (LPG).
MAN has now signed a Letter of Intent with Vancouver-based Waterfront Shipping for the use of four MAN ME-LGI engines on its ships. The engines will run on a blend of 95% methanol and 5% diesel fuel.
We can really see the momentum towards dual-fuel operation building now. The ME-GI engine we introduced—and immediately received orders for—in late-2012 confirmed the growing demand to have the option to run ships on LNG as well as HFO [heavy fuel oil] in the face of increasing fuel prices. Owing to market interest, we have now extended our dual-fuel engine programme with an ME-LGI unit that can run on liquid fuels. The interest in our ME-LGI engine confirms this dual-fuel, low-speed trend and offers even more alternatives to HFO—including methanol, LPG, dimethyl ether (DME), and (bio-) ethanol as well as other, low-flash-point fuels.—Ole Grøne, Senior Vice President, Low Speed Promotion & Sales, MAN Diesel & Turbo
ME-LGI. ME-LGI is a new concept that can be applied to all MAN Diesel & Turbo low-speed engines, either ordered as an original unit or through retrofitting. With two new injection concepts, the ME-LGI concept greatly expands the company’s dual-fuel portfolio and enables the exploitation of more low-flash-point fuels such as methanol and LPG.
The engine’s “ME-” prefix indicates that the new engine benefits from well-proven electronic controls that also encompass the fuel being injected by a Booster Fuel Injection Valve. This fuel booster, specially developed for the ME-LGI engine, ensures that a low pressure fuel-gas supply system can be employed, significantly reducing first-time costs and increasing reliability.
The ME-LGI came about due to interest from the shipping world in operating on alternatives to HFO. Methanol and LPG carriers have already operated at sea for many years and many more LPG tankers are currently being built as the global LPG infrastructure grows. With a viable, convenient and comparatively cheap fuel already onboard, it makes sense to use a fraction of the cargo to power the vessel. An important side-benefit is the improved environmental profile; MAN Diesel & Turbo states that it is already working towards a Tier-III-compatible ME-LGI version.
Waterfront Shipping. Waterfront Shipping, a wholly owned subsidiary of Methanex Corporation, is a global marine transportation company specializing in the transport of bulk chemicals and petroleum products. The company operates the largest methanol ocean tanker fleet in the world with its fleet comprising vessels from 3,000 to 49,000 dwt. Its fleet of 18 tankers delivers products to major international markets in North America, Asia, Europe and Latin America.
With the growing demand for cleaner marine fuel to meet environmental regulations coming into effect in Northern Europe and other regions, methanol is a promising alternative fuel for ships.
The four G50ME-LGI units are targeted for the end of 2013, with engine delivery to follow in the summer of 2015.