LR to class first methanol powered vessel

12 Jan 2015
After its conversion, ‘Stena Germanica’ will be the ‘world’s first’ methanol powered vessel

After its conversion, ‘Stena Germanica’ will be the ‘world’s first’ methanol powered vessel

Lloyd’s Register (LR) has confirmed it will class the ‘world’s first’ methanol powered vessel following its conversion to a dual-fuel propulsion system at Poland’s Remontowa shipyard.

The 240m long Stena Germanica will be converted over a 45 day period starting at the end of January 2015. Preliminary tests have already been carried out on a methanol-modified Wärtsilä 6ZAL40S similar to the vessel’s existing engine by five different LR teams from Copenhagen, Trieste, Gothenburg, Venice and Southampton.

Roberto Castantino, LR’s Trieste-based lead specialist, said: “We carried out three days of tests on a modified engine at Wartsila's R&D laboratory so as to understand the engine performance when running with methanol. While the test engine is a similar type to the four engines on the vessel, it has fewer cylinders. So the builders are converting the existing ones on the ship."

The new fuel arrangement on the Germanica, which is owned and operated by the Swedish ferry operator Stena Line, will combine methanol as its primary fuel with marine gas fuel (MGO) as a back-up power source.

By switching to the new arrangements SOx emissions are expected to be cut by 99%, NOx by 60%, particulates by 95% and CO2 by 25%.

Carl-Johan Hagman, CEO, Stena Line, added: "The emissions from methanol are comparable to LNG, but the requirements for handling and infrastructure are much lower. The construction team are looking at and will use several different exhaust gas treatment technologies and if the methanol project is a success we will convert more vessels."

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