Kawasaki Heavy Industries, Ltd. announced today that its natural gas engine L30KG—serving as the main engine for large vessels fueled solely by gas with an output capacity of more than 2 MW—has become the first Japanese-made gas engine to obtain type approval for the engine by DNV.
Kawasaki has already started marketing activities and will also complete steps to obtain type approval for the control system.
Prior to the development of this marine gas engine, Kawasaki had launched a gas engine developed for the distributed power generation market, featuring a high efficiency of 49.0% and NOx emissions below 200 ppm (at 0% O2). The gas engine L30KG is based on this technology, addressing needs for maritime application such as load fluctuation.
It also features technology to support two types of propulsion systems: a mechanical propulsion system in which the engine is coupled directly with the propeller, and an electrical propulsion system in which the engine generates electricity to drive the propeller indirectly. Kawasaki has conducted land-based tests using a 2.7 MW (6-cylinder) demonstration engine at Kobe Works.
The International Maritime Organization (IMO) mandates a phased reduction of CO2 as well as NOx and SOx emitted from marine vessels. NOx emissions from diesel engines will be subject to Tier III regulations starting in 2016, which require a reduction of at least 80% compared to Tier I levels when sailing in the emission control areas.
While the gas engine is exempted from NOx emissions regulations, it can reduce emissions to far below the level set by Tier III regulations without relying on special equipment such as an SCR (Selective Catalytic Reduction) system. Its superior environmental performance also allows significant reduction of CO2 and SO2 emissions compared to diesel engines, thus helping marine vessels meet various environmental regulations.