Wärtsilä launches gas-fuelled two-stroke to the market

12 Nov 2013
The RT-flex50DF, the first in a new series of low-speed engines based on Wärtsilä's low pressure gas technology

The RT-flex50DF, the first in a new series of low-speed engines based on Wärtsilä's low pressure gas technology

Wärtsilä has announced that it has successfully conducted full scale testing of its low-speed two-stroke dual-fuel engine running on LNG as fuel.

As a result, the company is to introduce a full range of low-speed engines based on its low pressure gas technology, with the first, the RT-flex50DF, to become available for delivery from the third quarter of 2014.

Documentation for this engine is currently in preparation, ready for class society type approval. Other engines from the company's Generation X series will follow, scheduled to be ready for the market during 2015 and 2016, followed by dual-fuel versions of the entire two-stroke portfolio.

Wärtsilä describes its low pressure gas system as a "game changer for merchant shipping". The company says that its studies suggest that compared with other technologies, capital expenditure (CAPEX) may be reduced by 15-20%, achieved through simpler and lower cost LNG and gas handling system and by the fact that no further exhaust gas cleaning systems are needed to meet future emission regulations.

The new engines are IMO Tier III emissions compliant in gas mode, and the minimum Tier II level is achieved with liquid fuel. Other claimed benefits are that because of the low pilot fuel consumption, and because neither external high pressure gas compression systems nor additional NOx abatement systems are required, operating costs are lower, while the technology means that it is not necessary to switch to diesel fuel for low-load operation, as is said to be the case with other technologies.

"Our well proven technologies for both the engines and the onboard gas and LNG handling systems can now be applied to this wider market. With the adaption of low pressure dual-fuel technology to two-stroke engines, Wärtsilä brings the proven advantages it has demonstrated in the four-stroke, medium-speed DF engine market to its two-stroke low speed engine customers," said Martin Wernli, vice-president, Wärtsilä Ship Power.

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