BW LPG to retrofit eight ships to LPG dual-fuel operation

Written by Nick Blenkey
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Image: BW Gas

Singapore-headquartered gas carrier operator BW LPG this month exercised an option for the delivery of four additional LPG dual-fuel engine retrofits. BW LPG has now committed to retrofit eight Very Large Gas Carriers (VLGCs) to dual-fuel LPG operation.

Back in August 2018, BW LPG announced a world first initiative to retrofit four LPG dual-fuel engines in its fleet. Since then, BW LPG, together with DNV GL, Wärtsilä Gas Solutions and MAN ES, has successfully subjected the prototype to rigorous tests, with performance exceeding expectations. When retrofitting is complete, BW LPG says it will reap benefits across many fronts such as fuel cost and voyage efficiencies. Most importantly, it says. this represents a significant step forward in the company’s efforts to reduce air emissions.

The retrofitting of the first four LPG dual-fuel engines into four Very Large Gas Carriers (VLGCs) will take place as planned this year.

“As the world’s largest owner and operator of VLGCs, BW LPG leverages on our scale and deep expertise in maritime shipping to invest in R&D and implement pioneering technology onboard that will push our industry towards decarbonization – technology that can be implemented on at least 50 percent of current global VLGC fleet without the need for dedicated newbuilding orders,” says Anders Onarheim, BW LPG CEO. “This is our commitment to sustainable development, which we pursue while keeping our focus on safe and reliable operations, so that we can continue to provide industry-leading customer service and generate better returns for our shareholders.”

MAN Energy Solutions says its initial LPG retrofit contract from BW Gas, signed in September 2018, covered the retrofitting of four MAN B&W 6G60ME-C9.2 HFO-burning engines to 6G60ME-C9.5-LGIP LPG-fueled dual-fuel engines. BW LPG has now ordered four more retrofits following a successful TAT (Type Approval Test) for the first ME-LGIP (Liquid Gas Injection Propane) retrofit engine, performed recently at the works of MAN two-stroke licensee, STX HI, in Korea.

The eight ships to be converted will use a Wärtsilä LPG Fuel Supply System.

Wärtsilä has also been designated as the system integrator for the retrofittings. This involves not only the installation of the LFSS, but also the required ship design modifications, integration of the LFSS control system into the ships’ integrated automation system (IAS), and acting as the coordinator between the shipyard, the engine manufacturer, and the owner.

“This project is yet another example of Wärtsilä’s leading position in bringing innovative systems that increase efficiency and support environmental sustainability, to the market,” says Peter Zürcher, Project Manager, Wärtsilä Marine. “The use of LPG as a marine fuel is likely to increase in the future, and a high quality, reliable, supply system is essential if this is to happen.”

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