Ethane-fuelled ME-GI order for MAN

22 Jul 2014
The ME-GI engine combustion process

The ME-GI engine combustion process

Norwegian owner Ocean Yield has placed orders for three liquefied ethylene gas carriers, each of which will be powered by a single MAN B&W ME-GI low-speed, dual-fuel engine running on ethane.

MAN believes this is the first application of ethane as fuel for an ocean-going ship. Ethylene carriers are equipped to transport this gas. Ethane is one of the naturally-occurring liquid elements found in natural gas, which is frequently separated, removed and sold as separate products such as propane and butane.

The ships, each of 36,000m³ capacity, are being built by Sinopacific in China, with Hartmann Schiffahrt acting as technical leader on the project, while Gaschem Service, another Hartmann division, is commercially responsible for the employment of the vessel. The ships are scheduled for delivery in August, October and December 2016 respectively.

MAN Diesel & Turbo reports that ethane was chosen as fuel, in preference to HFO, due to its more competitive pricing as well as the significantly shorter bunkering time it entails. As a fuel, its emissions profile is similar to methane, which is the major constituent of the LNG fuel for which the ME-GI was originally developed, and superior to HFO as it emits negligible sulphur, 15-20% lower CO2 and significantly fewer particles. The company says that it will be setting up the ethane-fuelled ME-GI engines to be easily converted to run on methane as an alternative.

MAN Diesel & Turbo says that as its ME-GI technology uses the Diesel cycle, rather than the Otto cycle employed on other dual- and triple-fuel engines on the market, it maintains high efficiency and robust combustion with no need for derating. The ME-GI – by virtue of its Diesel operating principle – has negligible methane/fuel slip, dispenses with the need for restrictive load ramps or other knock-preventing measures, and can use gases with a wide range of methane numbers.

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