Dorian LPG mulls VLGC engine conversions

If plans proceed, Dorian's conversions will mark a significant development in the LPG-fuelled two-stroke engine market If plans proceed, Dorian's conversions will mark a significant development in the LPG-fuelled two-stroke engine market

Houston-based Dorian LPG has enlisted Hyundai’s new environmental retrofit division to investigate the conversion of up to 10 very large gas carriers (VLGC) to dual-fuel technology using liquefied petroleum gas (LPG).

Dorian and Hyundai Global Services (HGS) are examining LPG as a marine fuel - in particular conversions to MAN Diesel & Turbo's forthcoming ME-LGIP dual-fuel engines - in anticipation of the IMO’s global fuel sulphur cap, in force from 2020. The project follows a preliminary investigation into LPG as fuel conducted by Dorian and the American Bureau of Shipping.

John Hadjipateras, chairman and CEO, Dorian LPG, said: "The cargo transported by our vessels is an energy source with well-documented environmental benefits relative to other fuels. We are undertaking this initiative with the dual goals of acting as a responsible corporate citizen and potentially achieving a significant competitive advantage."

The ship owner said it had already added enhancements to its vessel design in recent newbuilds to allow for the option of using LPG. It noted that LPG has an advantage over other potential fuels given its abundant availability from the shale exploration boom and an existing global distribution network, with onshore and floating storage infrastructure.

As reported, MAN Diesel & Turbo is working with Hyundai Heavy Industries to develop the first LPG-burning two-stroke engines. The first two engines have been ordered by Belgian gas shipping company Exmar, for two VLGCs to be delivered in 2020.

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