Wärtsilä joins LNG-powered bulker project

10 May 2016
The dual-fuel variant of the new Wärtsilä 31 four-stroke has been proposed as a viable alternative to two-stroke engines for dry bulk carriers

The dual-fuel variant of the new Wärtsilä 31 four-stroke has been proposed as a viable alternative to two-stroke engines for dry bulk carriers

The new Wärtsilä 31DF engine is set to play a key role in a collaborative project to equip LNG-powered dry bulk carriers after the company announced it is joining the initiative.

As reported, Project Forward was launched in May last year, with Greek ship owner Arista Shipping leading the project. Ship designer Deltamarin, LNG containment specialist GTT and the American Bureau of Shipping are also participating.

The project aims to develop a commercially feasible LNG-powered dry bulk carrier design capable of complying with the IMO’s Energy Efficiency Design Index 2025 (phase three) standards, as well as all relevant emissions regulations.

While a two-stroke engine would be the usual choice for a dry bulk carrier, Wärtsilä noted that the ‘supreme efficiency’ of the Wärtsilä 31 four-stroke engine – which is recognised by Guinness World Records as the most efficient four-stroke – make it a competitive and viable alternative.

Aaron Bresnahan, vice president sales, Wärtsilä Marine Solutions, said: “This engine has not only taken efficiency to a new benchmark level, but in gas-mode is IMO Tier III compliant without the need for any exhaust cleaning systems. We are proud to be a part of this future-looking project, which could eventually be applied equally well to other types and sizes of merchant vessel.”

Alexander P. Panagopulos, principal, Arista Shipping, added: "Project Forward aims to become a milestone for the shipping industry and in particular for owners and operators of cargo ships. Owners must decide within the next 5-10 years whether gas as fuel is a practical means of compliance with lower emissions standards and this project will enable all of us to understand its feasibility. We welcome Wärtsilä's involvement, as it is a company with great experience in this field.”

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