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MAN’s ME-GI and ME-LGI engines mark operating hour milestone

Written by Nick Blenkey
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Pictured at Copenhagen’s PrimeServ Academy (from left): René Sejer Laursen – MAN Diesel & Turbo, Manager ME-GI, Graham Cattley – Technical Manager, Projects, Teekay Gas, Jan Jensen – MAN Diesel & Turbo, Key Account Manager. The red engine component in the background is an ME-GI cylinder top as found aboard the Teekay vessels

DECEMBER 6, 2017 — MAN Diesel & Turbo reports that its low-speed ME-GI (Gas Injection) and ME-LGI (Liquid Gas Injection) dual-fuel engines have registered a cumulative total of 100,000 operating hours.

The engines are drawing high praise from the shipowner with the largest number of them in operation: Teekay Gas, a daughter company of the Teekay Corporation, which has eight ME-GI engines aboard four of its vessels, with further ME-GI orders imminent. The Teekay ME-GI engines have operated 80% of the time on LNG.

Teekay was an early adopter of the ME-GI concept and originally began looking into dual-fuel technology through its Vancouver-based strategic development department in November 2012.

Graham Cattley – Technical Manager, Projects, Teekay Gas – attended the annual ME-GI operators’ forum, hosted in November 2017 by MAN Diesel & Turbo’s Low Speed Business Unit in Copenhagen.

“The biggest benefit really is the economics of the vessel; it’s got a very low fuel consumption compared to rival propulsion designs and it also meets emissions regulations when we’re burning gas as well as fuel oil,” said Mr. Cattley. “With the ME-GI, we also avoid the problem of methane slip, so we are very well placed for any future emission regulations.”

Teekay’s experience has been that the ME-GI operates just as well on gas as it does on fuel oil and the company has encountered no major differences between the fuels when in heavy weather, nor has it experienced any issues with different gas qualities, combustion, or knocking.

Addressing the question of being an early adopter of the ME-GI, Mr, Cattley said: “When the first ship came into service, obviously there were teething issues. There’s always a risk involved with new technology but we also knew that MAN Diesel & Turbo was the furthest on with the design and development of these engines so it gave us confidence.”

He praised the technical support that Teekay has received from MAN Diesel & Turbo since inception and commented on the subsequent amount of innovation and changes to the engine, which has continued to evolve sincecoming into service. As an example of this, he cited MAN Diesel & Turbo engineers retuning of the ME-GI’s fuel boosters and the resultant reduction in pilot-fuel consumption of at least one metric ton per day.

“It’s been a very exciting time with the ME-GI and there’s been a lot of knowledge learnt as well,” said Mr. Cattley. “You’ve got to take a risk to be a leader in the market and we wanted the vessels with the best fuel consumption. We felt the ME-GI was the right choice at the time.”

Teekay recently entered into a long-term EMC (Engine Management Concept) agreement with MAN PrimeServ – MAN Diesel & Turbo’s after-sales division – that covers the maintenance of the ME-GI engines aboard the Oak Spirit, Creole Spirit and Torben Spirit, sisters from Teekay’s 173,400 cu.m LNG carrier series. The agreement covers the provision of spare-parts, maintenance management and the servicing of each vessel’s two 5G70ME-GI dual-fuel main engines.

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