Gas-burning low speed engine has formal unveiling

ME-GI-High-LDECEMBER 10, 2012 — The LNG-burning low speed engine that will power TOTE's innovative newbuild containerships at NASSCO (see earlier story) was formally announced as commercially available just last month.

At a large customer event in Korea on November 9 2012, Hyundai unveiled the first, commercial MAN B&W ME-GI engine. The ME-GI is a gas-injection, dual-fuel, low-speed diesel engine that, when acting as main propulsion in LNG carriers or any other type of merchant marine vessel, can burn gas or fuel-oil at any ratio, depending on the energy source available on board and dictated by relative cost of combustibles and owner preference.

The ME-GI type was successfully demonstrated at the ceremony in Korea, culminating in it achieving 100% load when powered by gas with a minimal amount of pilot oil for ignition. The engine subsequently successfully passed its Type Approval Test at the end of November.

In his speech at the ceremony, Ole Grøne – Senior Vice President Low-Speed Promotion & Sales, MAN Diesel & Turbo – said: "In spite of the fact that newbuilding activity presently is relatively low, the regulatory environment of shipping is being tightened, especially with a view to emission control. Hence, development activities are high and HHI's commitment to work with MAN Diesel & Turbo towards this demonstration of the ME-GI principle on a real commercial engine is highly appreciated by the industry. In this context it should be noted that the ME-GI technology is retrofittable for all existing ME engines.

Jeong-Hwan, Kim, Senior Executive Vice President & COO Hyundai Heavy Industries, said in his speech: "The success of the dual-fuel ME-GI engine's prototype test will lead to a great environmental contribution by effectively complying with stricter and stricter regulations, and I am confident that demand for the new engine will continue to rise in the future."

Lars Juliussen – Senior Manager and Head of MAN Diesel & Turbo's Diesel Research Centre, Copenhagen – held a technical presentation where he covered the ME-GI's progress from research test rigs and the 4T50ME-GI research engine in Copenhagen, through its world premiere and demonstration test in May 2011, to that day's demonstration test at Hyundai Engine & Machinery Division. Juliussen summarized the ME-GI engine as safe, reliable, flexible and clean.

Hyundai's full-scale demonstration of the ME-GI principle was based on the temporary conversion to ME-GI of an existing production engine – an MAN B&W 8S70ME-C type – generously placed at its disposal by Frontline, the prominent Norwegian shipowner.

MAN Diesel & Turbo says the demonstration was in response to customer requests to employ the ME-GI engine in new projects. MAN Diesel & Turbo states that production capability for the ME-GI is already available.

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