The ships are currently under construction at CIMC Sinopacific Offshore & Engineering Co., Ltd. (CIMC-SOE) shipyard in Shanghai.
As informed, each newbuilding will receive a propulsion package featuring one 5S35ME-LGIP engine with an Alpha controllable pitch propeller, power take-off (PTO), and a propulsion control system (PCS). MAN Energy Solutions also expects to introduce its new Triton control platform with the engines.
MAN Energy Solutions’ two-stroke licensee, CMD, will construct the engines in Lingang, China with delivery scheduled for the second half of 2021. The contract contains an option for two further vessels.
The new order is the latest in a series for the ME-LGIP engine. Among these, Oslo-based BW LPG recently exercised an option for further conversions of HFO-burning engines from its fleet to the dual-fuel type. This happened in the wake of the first ME-LGIP retrofit engine enjoying a successful type approval test (TAT) at the works of MAN Energy Solutions’ two-stroke licensee, STX HI, in Korea.
“After the success of our dual-fuel ME-GI engine running on ethane, orders for our ME-LGIP variant capable of running on LPG are now taking off,” Bjarne Foldager, Senior Vice President, Head of Two-Stroke Business at MAN Energy Solutions, said.
“Our low-speed, dual-fuel portfolio has now racked up over 1 million operating hours that owes everything to the strategy we have laid over the past decade,” he noted.
“Despite Hartmann expressing a strong preference for the ME-LGIP, we had to win this order in the face of very strong competition and are, naturally, very happy. The engine is a standard bearer for environmentally friendly, reliable propulsion technology with its seamless switching between fuels and the full rating and performance of the baseline, low-speed diesel engine,” Lars Zimmermann, Senior Manager and Head of Two-Stroke Direct Sales, MAN Energy Solutions, commented.
LPG and the ME-LGIP engine
MAN Energy Solutions said that interest in using LPG as a fuel, within and outside of the LPG carrier segment, is growing due to its sulphur-free character, widespread availability and ease of bunkering.
In gas mode, the ME-LGIP engine operates on just 3 per cent pilot oil and down to 10 per cent load. Ultimately, the company expects the engine to operate without the need for pilot oil.
The ME-LGIP engine can also burn liquid volatile organic compounds — described as a deliberate move on the company’s part since the IMO will inevitably turn its focus towards the reduction of volatile organic compounds in the future.
The diesel principle provides the ME-LGIP engine with high operational stability and efficiency, including during load changes and fuel change-over, while defining properties such as a stable change-over from one fuel type to another with no fuel-penalties are maintained. The negligible gas slip of the ME-LGIP engine makes it “the most environmentally friendly, two-stroke technology available”, according to the engine manufacturer.
MAN Energy Solutions also reported that the ME-LGIP engine has experienced an up to 18 per cent reduction in CO2 and circa 90 per cent reduction in particulate matter when running on LPG, compared with HFO.
As disclosed earlier, MAN’s portfolio of two-stroke, dual-fuel engines has accumulated 1 million operating hours. The milestone comes on the back of the 300 engines/6.3 GW sales the company recently announced for the segment – all running on clean fuels such as LNG, LPG, ethane and methanol.
MAN Energy Solutions’ ME-GI (gas injection) and ME-LGI engines form the core of its two-stroke, dual-fuel portfolio and have notched many notable industry-firsts since their market introduction, including the very first oceangoing ships operating respectively on LNG, methanol, ethane and LPG. To this end, the company recently released an Mk II ME-GI model and are currently, owing to market demand, developing an Otto-cycle variant – the ME-GA.
Triton is the new controller platform for MAN Energy Solutions’ entire, two-stroke engine portfolio and is a future-proof solution characterised by its modularity, flexibility and scalability, MAN Energy Solutions said.
“Having such a stable, flexible foundation for the company’s control software will benefit the future direction of its two-stroke technology immensely going forward. Triton delivers extra computing power and a faster network and I/O flexibility to face future demands; it also crucially encompasses cyber security by design,” MAN explained.
Maritime energy transition
The ME-LGIP engine ties in with MAN Energy Solutions’ belief that it is time for what it terms a maritime energy transition to find clean, decarbonised solutions for seaborne trade and transportation, the company said.
Essentially, it is the company’s call to action to reduce emissions and establish natural gases as the fuels of choice in global shipping.
MAN further said it strongly promotes a global ‘turn to gas’, driven by the IMO, and a common approach by the shipping industry and politics to invest in infrastructure development and retrofits.