Caterpillar undertakes first in-hull LNG retrofit and reports new orders

31 Dec 2014
Anthony Veder’s ‘Coral Anthelia’ has been retrofitted for MaK M 46 DF dual fuel power

Anthony Veder’s ‘Coral Anthelia’ has been retrofitted for MaK M 46 DF dual fuel power

An LNG tanker has had its engine converted to LNG without modifying the ship structure, while MaK and larger Cat engines continue to rack up orders from the offshore market sector.

Caterpillar Marine says that it has successfully completed what it believes to be the commercial marine industry’s first dual fuel engine retrofit conversion in hull.

Performed in under six weeks, working with its dealer Bolier, Caterpillar retrofitted its Mak M 46 DF dual fuel platform to the Coral Anthelia, an Anthony Veder LNG tanker. The ship was previously powered by an MaK M 43 C diesel, and the company says that the job was carried out with no modifications to the ship’s structure, and no docking was required.

The new six-cylinder main engine rated at 900kW/cylinder has a bore of 460mm and stroke of 610mm. The company says that the M 46 dual fuel engine was designed for both mechanical and electric drive propulsion systems, and developed for unlimited operation on LNG, MDO and HFO, to achieve a claimed industry-leading efficiency in gas mode. The M 46 DF was strategically engineered to allow for the retrofitting to current M 43 C engines, in the same way that existing M 32 C engines can be retrofitted to the MaK M 34 DF dual fuel platform.

As a result of the synergies between the two platforms, Caterpillar says it can perform in hull retrofit conversions without having to move the engine block or perform extensive machining. “The benefits of an in hull retrofit for our customers are incredibly significant,” said Axel Hausmann Caterpillar Marine customer service manager. “In addition to preserving the integrity of the vessel, an in hull retrofit saves the customer time and money in an industry driven by the bottom line.”

“Caterpillar is firmly committed to providing sustainable, flexible solutions that enhance our customers operations. We’re proud of the collaborative effort between Anthony Veder, Cat dealer Bolier and our engineering team to successfully achieve a beneficial industry milestone,” said Karl Vollrath, Caterpillar Marine customer service manager. “As an LNG carrier operating in waters impacted by SECA regulations, the Coral Anthelia will be able to optimise its performance utilising LNG, heavy fuel oil or diesel.”

Another significant order for Cat’s MaK medium speed range engines and its propulsion solutions is for four AHTS vessels ordered by Grupo CBO, headquartered in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. Each AHTS vessel will be equipped with four 6 M 32 C propulsion engines rated at 3,000kW driving Cat CP propellers. The 180t BP AHTS vessels will be to a design by Hayvard Design and Solutions, adapted from the 843 design. As well as this four-ship order, Cat has a contract to power a PSV, the third in a series for Grupo CBO, with a diesel-electric plant based on for 3512C generator sets, each rated at 1,700kWe and a C18 genset for harbour/emergency power.

Cat’s South American dealer Sotreq this important project for the Brazilian market and will continue to manage the delivery and subsequent service of the Cat installations. “Sotreq has the capacity to provide comprehensive packaging for marine offshore customers in an expedited timeline and this has proved to be a differentiating factor for our customers in the Brazilian offshore market,” said Rodrigo Feria, Sotreq marine sales manager. “This project marks the entrance of Cat Propulsion into the Brazilian marine sector and we are pleased to be able to offer integrated solutions for our local customers.”

The Cat BCP CP propellers for the AHTS ships have been specifically designed and developed for heavy-duty applications with the pitch setting hydraulic servo cylinder in the hub. The hub lubrication system features an oil circulating system with integrated moisture monitoring. This is claimed to be the first such hub system where the moisture content is constantly checked, making it possible to protect the entire propeller system as well as the environment.

MaK diesel electric propulsion systems have been selected for four Maersk Supply Services newbuilds to be constructed in China at COSCO (Dalian) Shipyards. Each vessel will be equipped with four M 32 E generator sets rated at 4,400kW each and two 8 M 20 C at 1,440kW each. These will be the latest M 32 E engine versions with increased power rating of 550kW/cylinder at 720/750rpm, and will feature the recently-introduced constant speed part load kit for the M 32 E, said to offer fuel savings up to 10g/kWh with a 3x33% load step capability.

“We’re pleased the high performance, part-load optimised M 32 E power solutions have been selected for the Maersk subsea service vessels,” said Alexander Kohse, Caterpillar Marine offshore segment manager. “The vessels will benefit from the lowest possible fuel consumption while operating in part load range but still deliver the reliable MaK power in full throttle.”

Designed to carry out subsea cable laying, installation and maintenance, the ships will be equipped for operations in water depths up to 3,000m. The engines will be delivered to the shipyard with enhanced safety offerings, such as a high standard exhaust cladding design for surface temperature control.

Besides the higher engine power density, the length and weight of the package has been reduced by more than 15%, which the company says has been done without compromising reliability, durability, vibrations and structural borne noise. The scope of supply is completed with the new MACS modular alarm and control system (MACS), allowing integration with other engines from the Caterpillar family, including Cat high speed engines, in mixed engine rooms by using common components like the ADEM A4 engine control module.

On the service side, Caterpillar Marine has launched a new bundled repair solution for the C18 engine family and commercial extended service coverage (ESC) for all available existing bundled repair solutions. These, according to the company, provide a customisable, comprehensive solution for customers looking to keep their vessels on the water longer. Customers can choose a top end or major foundational kit and tailor it with the related components needed for engine overhauls. The system is said to save time and money through the easy quote process from the Cat dealer network and selection of pre-packaged parts. “As the first modular overhaul design kits to be manufactured by Caterpillar, the customer response to both the Cat 3406 and 3412 bundled repair solutions has exceeded our expectations,” David Holt Caterpillar Marine parts manager said. “Our customers have been pleased with the customisation available to each individual overhaul while remaining easy to order from our global Cat dealer network.”

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