Wärtsilä 50 DF certified for ethane operation

MAY 8, 2015 — Wärtsilä reports that its 50DF marine engine has been successfully tested and certified to run on ethane (LEG) fuel in an extensive and successful testing program was carried out in close collaboration with Evergas, a leading owner and operator of seaborne petrochemical and liquid gas transport vessels.

"We are very pleased that the Wärtsilä engines will be capable of utilizing ethane boil-off gas as fuel," says Evergas CEO Steffen Jacobsen. "It increases our operational efficiency and improves flexibility in the bunkering of fuels. All in all it results in a significant reduction in operating costs, while also providing a minimal environmental footprint. It also enables us to offer our customers increased flexibility, which has a monetary value to them."

The capability to efficiently burn ethane boil-off gas as engine fuel significantly reduces the need of gas reliquefaction during the voyage. This means that less power is needed for cargo handling, thus providing a more efficient and environmentally sound overall system.

This technological breakthrough enables Wärtsilä's customers to meet the International Maritime Organization's (IMO) Tier III regulations without need of secondary emissions cleaning while using either LNG or LEG as fuel. The engines have the capability to seamlessly switch between Liquified Natural Gas (LNG), Ethane (LEG), Light Fuel Oil (LFO) or Heavy Fuel Oil (HFO) without the need for any modifications to hardware and with uninterrupted operation, thereby setting a new standard in fuel flexibility.

"This is yet another significant breakthrough for Wärtsilä's multi-fuel technology. The option to utilize ethane gas as a marine fuel further extends the fuel flexibility of our DF engine portfolio. It also provides yet another option to achieve compliance with the IMO's stringent Tier III legislation," says Lars Anderson, Vice President, Engine Sales, Wärtsilä Ship Power.

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