Natural gas option for ferry generators
Among MAN Diesel & Turbo’s recent medium speed and genset orders is a contract to supply propulsion and auxiliary engines to Norwegian shipyard Bergen Group Fosen for two new cruise ferries.
Each ferry will have three L21/31 auxiliary engines, which, like the 32/44CR main engines, will be configured to operate initially on conventional fuel, and then from 2016, switched to operation with natural gas.
The Flord Line ferries will be in daily operation from 2012 on routes between Denmark and Norway, carrying up to 1,500 passengers and 600 vehicles. MAN says that the engines’ eco-friendliness is of particular importance, since the North and Baltic Seas are ECAs (emission controlled areas) in which particularly stringent emissions legislation is due to come into force.
To comply with these strict specifications, the plan is to convert the engines at a later point in time with a retrofit kit into dual-fuel engines. The retrofit is still under development, so when complete it will be fitted by MAN’s after-sales division, MAN PrimeServ. This retrofit will enable the engines to be switched at the press of a button, from operation with liquid fuel to eco-friendly natural gas.
According to MAN, dual fuel engines running on gas generate around 80% fewer nitric oxides, virtually no sulphur emissions and around 95% fewer particles in the exhaust gas than when running on HFO. The amount of CO2 is reduced significantly. The gas tanks required on board have already been considered in the design phase.
MAN’s dual fuel engines have been proved in several liquid gas tanker installations, where evaporating gas from the cargo is used as fuel. Similar engines are, says MAN, being widely adopted for stationary power generation, where if there is an interruption in the gas supply, operators can effortlessly switch to liquid fuel and thus maintain production without a break.
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