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MAN Energy Solutions completes world's first LPG-fueled retrofit of ship

Increase font size  Decrease font size Date:2020-10-30   Views:96
Engine designer MAN Energy Solutions says it has completed the world's first LPG-fueled retrofit of a ship, paving the way to expedite the move toward zero-carbon fuels.

The company's after-sales division MAN PrimeServ in a statement on Oct. 27 announced the successful conversion of the main engine of the BW LPG carrier BW Geminito to enable it to operate on both fuel oil and LPG.
The successful conversion and start of gas and sea trials will make the BW Gemini the world's first commercial vessel to be propelled by a two-stroke LPG dual-fuel engine. The conversion is the first of 12 ordered by BW LPG for vessels in its fleet.

BW LPG chose retrofits over newbuildings for a number of reasons, a company executive said in the same statement.

"Retrofitting allows us to minimize our carbon footprint – the process emits up to 97% less carbon dioxide compared to a newbuilding construction," Pontus Berg, executive vice president, technical and operations, at BW LPG said.

"Retrofitting also means that we do not add additional tonnage that the world does not need," Berg added.

With LPG as a marine fuel, the BW Gemini's output efficiencies rise by around 10% against fuel oil, which will in turn generate notable gains in total voyage fuel-economics, MAN Energy Solutions said.

Cost-wise, LPG has high lifetime savings prospects, it added.

The FOB Middle East propane price was assessed at $427/mt Oct. 27, the highest in nine months since touching $505/mt on Jan. 31, while front-cycle CFR North Asia propane retreated to $438/mt Oct. 27 after hitting a nine-month high at $467/mt on Oct. 15, S&P Global Platts data showed.

By leveraging LPG as a marine fuel, BW LPG's vessels benefit from savings due to lower fuel consumption and full dual-fuel flexibility, which guards against sensitivity to post-2020 fuel price fluctuations, it said.

The ability to use LPG cargo as a supplemental fuel source also reduces time and fees for fuel bunkering, while harnessing LPG propulsion translates into cleaner, more efficient engines that are cheaper to maintain, it added.
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