MAN and ABB cooperate on next-gen propulsion solution for LNG carriers

Written by Nick Blenkey
MOU on new propulsion solution was signed at SMM

L to R: Stig Leira, transformation program manager, ABB Marine & Ports; Rune Lysebo, global head of sales, ABB Marine & Ports; Marita Krems, vice president and head of four-stroke marine & license, MAN Energy Solutions; and Elvis Ettenhofer, head of marine four-stroke – region asia pacific, MAN Energy Solutions. Image credit: ABB.

Under a Memorandum of Understanding signed at the recent SMM event, MAN Energy Solutions and ABB are to collaborate to develop of a next-generation Dual-Fuel, Electric+ (DFE+) propulsion concept for LNG carriers.

The DFE+ concept features the just-launched MAN 49/60DF engine and ABB’s Dynamic AC (DAC) technology. It aims to deliver the operational flexibility shipowners need to cut LNG carriers’ carbon footprints as well as fuel bills for liquefied natural gas carriers.

The scope of the collaboration covers a joint concept study between the partners, sharing technical data, and discussing interfaces and system integration. MAN Energy Solutions and ABB intend to jointly promote the concept to customers.

Dual-fuel engines have consistently offered shipowners a high efficiency route to cleaner fuel alternatives while also retaining the flexibility to switch to conventional fuels as required. MAN’s latest 49/60DF four-stroke engine can run on LNG, diesel, biofuel blends and synthetic natural gas to provide fuel flexibility on the path to decarbonization.


In ABB’s Dynamic AC concept, the electrical system combines the merits of conventional AC with the variable frequency which can adjust generator load to engine speeds, optimizing total fuel consumption continuously. Installing an energy storage solution in the power plant will also add to improved fuel efficiency.

“Progressive regulations on emissions have called for continuous innovation in marine propulsion,” said Rune Lysebo, global head of sales at ABB Marine & Ports. “To be truly future-proof, ships that are being built today need to be able to rely on flexibility in energy sourcing. The new power and propulsion system will be optimized for efficiency and compliance, and have the flexibility needed to achieve best performance.”


“Customers demand efficient and flexible propulsion concepts so they can react quickly to changing market conditions through the best use of their assets,” said Elvis Ettenhofer, head of marine four-stroke – region Asia Pacifica at MAN Energy Solutions. “This cooperation with ABB will deliver the technology necessary to provide a new propulsion concept. In turn, this will help our customers to reduce their CO2 footprint and fuel costs, and will provide the flexibility, for example, in operation for different trades or retrofits from an LNG carrier to floating storage units or floating storage regasification units. This concept can reduce methane slip and fuel costs compared to conventional diesel electric propulsion systems. ABB’s DAC and global presence are an ideal match for our new four-stroke engine.”

The new propulsion solution for LNG carriers will also be suitable forFSUs (Floating Storage Units) and FSRUs (Floating Storage and Regasification Units).

A combined dual-fuel electric power and propulsion system could be installed with an energy storage solution to enhance load management, or come coupled with ABB’s Azipodelectric propulsion.

MAN and ABB will also explore integrating fuel cells as the technology matures.

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