Two MAN licensees to trial ME-GI engines

09 Mar 2012
The ME-GI engine

The ME-GI engine

MAN Diesel & Turbo says that two Far Eastern companies have separately announced their intention to build prototypes of MAN’s two-stroke gas engine, which MAN says means the ME-GI is edging closer to commercial production.

Both HHI-EMD (the engine and machinery division of Hyundai Heavy Industries) and MES (Mitsui Engineering and Shipbuilding) have said they are to carry out full-scale demonstrations of the ME-GI principle based on the temporary conversion of existing production engines to ME-GI units. Accordingly, HHI intends to convert an 8S70ME-GI unit in November 2012, while MES, as announced earlier this week, will convert a 6S70ME-GI unit in the second quarter of 2013.

MAN Diesel & Turbo sees the announcement of the demonstrations as acknowledgement of customer requests to employ the ME-GI engine in new projects and states that production capability for the ME-GI is already available. Similarly, the company reports that test beds and ancillary gas-supply systems will also be available in time for ME-GI delivery.

Ole Grøne, senior vice president low-speed promotion & sales, MAN Diesel & Turbo said: “We view this latest development in the ME-GI project as very positive. It is immensely encouraging that some of our biggest licensees, based in the greatest shipbuilding countries in the world, are showing such tangible interest in this gas engine.” Grøne attributed the licensee announcements of full-scale ME-GI demonstrations to customer interest and said: “Over the years, MAN Diesel & Turbo has staged tests in Copenhagen with excellent results where we have improved efficiency and lowered pilot injection volumes, but these full-scale demonstrations mark the most significant milestone yet for the ME-GI.”

Formally unveiled at a major event at MAN Diesel & Turbo’s Copenhagen Diesel Research Centre in May 2011, just after delegates to the 33rd Motorship Propulsion and Emissions conference had received a preview, the ME-GI development can be traced back to the 1990s and the prototype MC-GI dual-fuel engine. The first two-stroke GI engine, a 12K80MC-GI-S, entered service at a power plant in Chiba, near Tokyo, Japan in 1994.

The ME-GI engine is a gas-injection, dual-fuel, low-speed diesel engine that, when acting as main propulsion in LNG carriers or any other type of merchant marine vessel, can burn gas or fuel-oil at any ratio, depending on the energy source available on board and dictated by relative cost and owner preference. The MES design concept ‘Double Eco MAX’ LNG carrier employs twin ME-GI engines as prime movers, which MES says should realise a 30% reduction in fuel costs and CO2 emissions.

MAN Diesel & Turbo sees significant opportunities arising for gas-fuelled tonnage as fuel prices rise and exhaust emission limits tighten. Its research indicates that the ME-GI engine, incorporating additional exhaust gas recirculation and waste-heat recovery modules, will deliver reductions in CO2, NOx and SOx fulfilling IMO Tier III regulations. The company predicts a broad, potential market for its two-stroke gas-fuelled engine, for LNG and LPG carriers, containerships and other ocean-going ships plying a fixed trade.

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