German shipping company Wessels Reederei has signed a contract with MAN Diesel & Turbo to retrofit the 8L48/60B main engine of its 1,000-teu container ship Wes Amelie to dual-fuel operation. The vessel will be the first of its kind worldwide to be converted to an LNG-capable propulsion system.
Through running on LNG, the Wes Amelie will reduce emissions of sulphur oxide by more than 99%, nitrogen oxide by approximately 90%, and carbon dioxide by up to 20%.
Wessels has earlier stated that the project will promote the demand for LNG as a fuel within the maritime industry.
Due to the long delivery time of LNG tanks, the engine retrofit will commence in Q4 2016. Full operational usage of LNG as fuel is planned for early December, 2016.
The Wes Amelie is a modern feeder-vessel that was launched in 2011 and operates in the North and Baltic Seas. When selecting a suitable vessel for conversion, special attention was paid to the scalability of the engineering services as well as the development costs, reducing significantly the costs for follow-up projects. In this respect, the Wes Amelie has 23 sister ships, 16 of them structurally identical, which would allow follow-up projects to be easily implemented. This ship therefore facilitates a multiplier effect, with multiple, other conversion-capable vessels also found around the European continent.
With a current fleet of 43 ships, Wessels Reederei is one of the largest managers of coastal vessels with 33 coasters, four container and six multipurpose vessels in its fleet portfolio.