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MAN collaborating with Alfa Laval to develop methanol fuel supply solution for MAN 4-stroke engines

MAN Energy Solutions will collaboarate with Alfa Laval, the Swedish industrial concern, to develop a methanol fuel-supply solution for MAN four-stroke engines and its fuel-injection technology. As a result, the first four-stroke engine types will be capable of retrofit to methanol operation from 2025.

Methanol is a low-flashpoint fuel that poses new demands when it comes to fuel supply and combustion. The industry’s leading, low-flashpoint fuel-supply system (LFSS) supplier, Alfa Laval will draw on its adaptable design and the experience gained from more than 70 methanol projects, some of which have been in operation since 2016.

The Alfa Laval FCM Methanol is a low-flashpoint fuel supply system (LFSS) that can be adapted to any kind of marine engine and vessel design. It is a proven technology that has been operating on methanol-fueled vessels since 2015.

The FCM Methanol is a dual-stage, pressurized system that supplies methanol safely and automatically. It can be arranged to feed multiple fuel lines with different process parameters simultaneously, thereby meeting the needs of multiple engines and boilers.

Each stage is protected by a pressure relief valve and is equipped with transmitters and indicators for pressure and temperature. The low-pressure stage prevents the cavitation of the high-pressure pump. The high-pressure stage maintains the specified fuel parameters.


Source: Alfa Laval

The system’s automation handles all necessary fuel routines, ensuring that the methanol is conditioned and ready for a start signal from the engine control system (EGC). Upon a stop signal from the EGC, the system safely returns to standby.

Control and monitoring are handled from a control cabinet located within a safe zone, or from the vessel’s automation system via Modbus serial link. Advanced troubleshooting can be performed from any control point, without entering the hazardous zone.

In the new venture, Alfa Laval will provide the LFSS itself, as well as the control system, fuel-valve train, and auxiliary functions like the purging system. It will initially design and build a prototype at its facility in Monza, Italy before delivering it for testing on a methanol engine at MAN Energy Solutions facilities in Augsburg, Germany in early 2024.

MAN Energy Solutions and Alfa Laval previously collaborated on decarbonizing shipping in 2014 when the first methanol solution for two-stroke marine engines was in development. To date, this is still the only such system in use at sea with more than 150,000 hours of operation.

Alfa Laval supports all types of customer at all stages of the fuel transition by adapting our technology to support their choice of engine and fuel. We are proud to cooperate with MAN Energy Solutions in developing this new solution, which follows our long-standing and successful relationship within two-stroke marine engines.

—Viktor Friberg, Head of Marine Separation & Fuel Supply Systems, Alfa Laval

Enabling the switch to low-carbon fuel is a great way to decarbonise the maritime fleet. Now we want to support our customers and make methanol-running just as possible for four-stroke engines.

—Bernd Siebert, Head of Retrofit & Upgrades, MAN Energy Solutions


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