Wessels Reederei signed a letter of intent with MAN Diesel & Turbo regarding the conversion of three of its fleet to dual-fuel gas operation. The three ships are sisters to the Wes Amelie, a 1,036-TEU feeder container ship with an MAN 8L48/60B main engine that was retrofitted to a multi-fuel, four-stroke MAN 51/60DF unit earlier in 2017. (Earlier post.) The retrofit enables dual-fuel operation and is the first such conversion of its type.
MAN Diesel & Turbo reports that the dual-fuel conversion has enabled the Wes Amelie to reduce its SOx emissions by >99%, NOx by approximately 90%, and CO2 by up to 20%. The vessel now meets both the Tier II and Tier III emission requirements set by the International Maritime Organisation (IMO).
The Wes Amelie project was really a pioneering moment in the European container-feeder market and shows clearly that existing MAN engines can be converted to LNG operation with a tremendous effect on exhaust emissions and the environment.—Stefan Eefting – Senior Vice President, MAN Diesel & Turbo and Head of MAN PrimeServ Diesel in Augsburg
When selecting a suitable vessel for conversion, special attention is 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, facilitating a multiplier effect.
The term “maritime Energiewende” (Maritime Energy Transition) stems from the German expression Energiewende and encapsulates MAN Diesel & Turbo’s call to action to reduce emissions and establish natural gas as the fuel of choice in global shipping. It promotes a global turn to ga’, driven by the IMO, and a common approach by the shipping industry and politics to invest in infrastructure development and retrofits.
Launched in 2016 after COP 21, the initiative has since found broad support within the shipping industry and German politics. Stemming from the success of the Wes Amelie project, and to encourage more shipowners to follow its example, MAN Diesel & Turbo pledged a total discount of €2 million (US$2.3 million) for 10 such LNG-retrofits at the international Our Ocean 2017 conference in Malta recently.
With a current fleet of 37 ships, Wessels Reederei is one of the largest managers of coastal vessels globally. It has a fleet of some 28 coasters, four container and five multipurpose vessels and is based in Haren/Ems, Germany.
TOTE ro-ro conversion in the US. Earlier this year, TOTE Maritime Alaska, a daughter company of TOTE Inc., the leading American marine-transportation group, contracted MAN PrimeServ to convert the North Star and Midnight Sun to dual-fuel operation on liquefied natural gas (LNG). The roll on/off ships (ro-ro) are currently both powered by 4 × MAN 58/64 engines and will be retrofitted to MAN 58/64 retrofit units. The contract covers the design, development and testing of a first-of-its-kind dual-fuel kit, which will serve as foundation for the largest LNG conversion in North America.
TOTE Maritime Alaska handles approximately one-third of goods transportation between the continental US and Alaska. Both the North Star and Midnight Sun operate fast routes between Anchorage, Alaska and Tacoma, Washington.
The two Orca-class ships were originally constructed by NASSCO, part of the General Dynamics Corporation at its San Diego yard and were commissioned in 2003.
TOTE Maritime Puerto Rico, another TOTE company, is notable for ordering the world's first LNG-powered Marlin class container ships, the Isla Bella and Perla del Caribe, launched in 2015 and both featuring single MAN B&W 8L70ME-GI engines.