MAN Energy Solutions has signed a contract to convert a 15,000 teu Hapag-Lloyd container vessel to dual-fuel operation with the aim to help reduce emissions.
The completion of this pilot project in 2020 will see Hapag-Lloyd become the world’s first shipping line to convert a vessel of this size to liquefied natural gas (LNG) propulsion.
The MV Sajir, which normally serves a route from Asia to northern Europe via the Suez Canal, will be docked for 90 days at the Chinese Hudong/HRDD shipyard while the work takes place.
Richard von Berlepsch, managing director for fleet management at Hapag-Lloyd, said: “With this unprecedented pilot, we hope to learn for the future and to pave the way for large ships to be retrofitted to use this alternative fuel.”
The project entails the conversion of an existing, heavy fuel oil (HFO)-burning MAN B&W 9S90ME-C engine to a dual-fuel MAN B&W ME-GI prime mover that is capable of running on HFO and LNG.
The DNV-GL approved gas-storage, including the pipework between storage and engine, will occupy an area equivalent to 350 containers.
As part of the project, through its integrated fuel-gas specialist company MAN Cyro, MAN Energy Solutions will also install an entire gas system to supply gas to the main, as well as to the auxiliary engines.
Wayne Jones OBE, chief sales officer and member of the executive board at MAN Energy Solutions, said: “We are seeing great interest in this project from the industry as a whole.
“This is an excellent showcase for the conversion of a mega-container vessel to LNG and the potential market is huge.”
Through the use of LNG, the shipping industry has the potential to reduce CO2 emissions by 15-20% and sulphur dioxide and particulate matter by more than 90%.
The retrofitting of the MAN B&W 9s90ME-C engine to ME-GI dual-fuel is part of MAN Energy Solution’s activities that aim to support a climate-neutral shipping industry.
The company promotes a global ‘turn to gas’, driven by the International Maritime Organisation (IMO), and a common approach by the shipping industry and politics to invest in infrastructure development and retrofits.
In 2017, it converted Wessels Reederei’s 1,038 container ship Wes Amelie, which was originally fitted with a MAN 8L48/60B diesel engine, to a dual-fuel MAN 51/60DF.
The vessel now meets both the Tier II and Tier III emission requirements set by the IMO and, according to MAN Energy Solutions, has significantly changed emissions.