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BW LPG to retrofit four VLGCs with dual fuel LPG propulsion

Written by Nick Blenkey
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AUGUST 31, 2018 — The world’s largest operator of LPG tankers, BW LPG, has entered into contracts to retrofit dual fuel LPG propulsion on four VLGCs. The contracts include options for further future retrofits.

BW LPG expects the first retrofitting to take place in conjunction with scheduled drydockings starting 2020.

“BW LPG has been preparing for IMO 2020 for years and today, I am pleased to announce that we have signed contracts for the delivery and retrofitting of four LPG-propelled dual-fuel engines,” said Martin Ackermann, BW LPG CEO. “We will be the global pioneer in operating next-generation, high-tech green ships with dual-fuel propulsion. Responsible operations and profitability are not conflicting goals – rather, they are preconditions for each other. This retrofitting is just one way in which we ensure that our shareholders invest in a forward-looking company that positions itself well for future challenges.”

With LPG fueled propulsion, BW LPG says it will reduce its sulfur oxide emissions by up to 97 percent, allowing for full compliance with all current and future sulfur emissions requirements. It says that thismeans the retrofitted ships, when operating on LPG, will go beyond IMO’s global 0.5% sulfur emissions cap to also be in full compliance with Emission Control Areas (ECA) and Sulphur Emission Control Areas’ (SECA) 0.1% sulfur cap. In addition, with LPG fuel, BW LPG will reduce emissions of particulate matters by ~90 percent, greenhouse gases by ~25 percent, and nitrogen oxides by ~20 percent.

The company says that LPG as a marine fuel offers efficiency gains on many fronts:

“Output efficiencies will improve by ~11 percent with LPG when compared with compliant fuels. This means that we capture significant improvements in total voyage fuel economics. Other efficiencies gained with LPG include easy storage, faster refueling and wide availability of bunkering ships and facilities. All these ensure that LPG is a long-term sustainable marine fuel.

“LPG as a marine fuel is also future-proof and cost-efficient. In addition to savings from reduced fuel consumption, we are buffered from price sensitivity to post-2020 fuel price scenarios with full dual fuel flexibility. Even at today’s pricing, LPG is advantageous vs heavy fuel oil, offering high life-time saving prospects.

“LPG propulsion means that engines are cleaner, cheaper to maintain and provide higher efficiency. Dual-fuel engines provides fuel flexibility, which means full redundancy to ensure uninterrupted operations. Conversion to LPG propelled dual-fuel engines is a life-cycle upgrade and long-term commitment.”

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