Factory acceptance for breakthrough Wärtsilä engine

The dual-fuel two-stroke engine tested in China represents the first application of  Wärtsilä’s low-pressure range The dual-fuel two-stroke engine tested in China represents the first application of Wärtsilä’s low-pressure range

The first commercial application of Wärtsilä’s low-pressure, dual-fuel two-stroke engine will be on an LNG carrier under construction for Zhejiang Huaxiang Shipping Co, after the engine passed factory acceptance tests (FAT) at Yuchai Marine Power Co (YMPC) in Zhuhai City.

The new engine employs low-pressure gas injection to simplify the gas supply system, eliminating the need for electrically driven high-speed injection. The low-pressure two-stroke range was introduced by Wärtsilä in November 2013 and the first engine – a five-cylinder, 50cm bore 5RT-flex50DF - was built by licensee YMPC for the MARIC-designed gas carrier.

The 125.8m vessel at Qidong Fengshun Ship Heavy Industry Co will have capacity for 14,300m3 of LNG, with a rated power of 6,000kW at 124rpm. It will operate mainly in Chinese coastal waters, delivering gas to terminals in major Chinese river estuaries.

Winterthur Gas & Diesel (WinGD) - the Switzerland-based designer, developer and licensor of Wärtsilä-branded low-speed engines – will also supply a gas valve unit (GVU) and other ancillary equipment to the vessel, as well as commissioning the engine and GVU.

Martin Wernli, chief executive officer of WinGD said: “The system is based on the low-pressure gas admission system proven over more than two decades on Wärtsilä four-stroke dual-fuel engines.

“The 5RT-flex50DF does not require the high-pressure electrically-driven compressor needed by two-stroke engines in which gas is injected under high pressure. Thus, not only can our fuel system be simpler and less expensive, it saves a considerable amount of onboard electrical power, which means that a vessel’s auxiliary generators can be smaller.”

Fuelled by the natural boil-off gas from its LNG cargo, the vessel will comply with the strictest IMO NOx and SOx requirements without exhaust gas treatment. When burning liquid fuel such as heavy fuel oil or marine gas oil – when boil-off gas is insufficient - the vessel meet will IMO Tier II requirements on exhaust emissions.

Factory acceptance tests were held on 2-3 June in the presence of classification societies, the ship’s owners, the shipyard, YCMP and WinGD. Inspection of the engine and selected components according to classification society requirements took place on 4 June. An event marking the first commercial application of a WinGD dual-fuel engine was held on 10-11 June and included a short demonstration run.

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