The engine is the first of two 8S70ME-C8.2-GI units for delivery to VT Halter Marine, Pascagoula, MS, for installation in the two 2,400 TEU ConRo ships it is building for Crowley Maritime Corporation.
The vessels will be two of the world's first LNG-powered ConRo ships, with container Lift-on/Lift-off (LO/LO) and vehicle Roll-on/Roll-off (RO/RO) loading. Designed to travel at speeds up to 22 knots, they will be 219.5 m long, 32.3 m wide and have a deep draft of 10 m. In addition to carrying 2,400 TEU of containers they will be able to carry nearly 400 vehicles in an enclosed Roll-on/Roll-off garage.
Crowley ordered the ME-GI engines, along with three MAN 9L28/32DF auxiliary engines for each vessel, in early-2014. The company selected the high-pressure, Diesel-cycle ME-GI engines because of their high efficiency and power concentration. The ME-GI's ability to avoid derating, and its negligible methane slip, also contributed to its selection.
Crowley reports that the newbuildings will reduce the amount of CO2 emissions attributable to each container by approximately 38%.
The ships will meet or exceed all regulatory requirements and will have the CLEAN notation, which requires limitation of operational emissions and discharges, as well as the Green Passport, both issued by DNV GL.
The ME-GI engine
The ME-GI engine is the culmination of many years' work, and gives shipowners and operators the option of utilizing fuel or gas depending on relative price and availability, as well as environmental considerations.
The ME-GI uses high-pressure gas injection that allows it to maintain the numerous positive attributes of MAN B&W low-speed engines that have made them the default choice of the maritime community. The ME-GI is not affected by the multiple de-ratings, fuel-quality adjustments or large methane-slip issues that have been seen with other dual-fuel solutions.
MAN Diesel & Turbo sees significant opportunities ahead for gas-fueled tonnage as fuel prices rise and exhaust emission limits tighten. Research indicates that the ME-GI engine delivers significant reductions in CO2, NOx and SOx emissions. Its negligible methane slip makes it even more environmentally friendly
An ME-LGI counterpart that uses LPG, methanol and other liquid gases is also available, and has already been ordered.
Factory Acceptance Test attendees pictured in front of the ME-GI engine at MES's Tamano Works