MAN LPG engine to power Chinese VLGC newbuild

MAN LPG engine to power Chinese VLGC newbuild
Rendering of the MAN B&W ME-LGIP engine, showing here a 6S50ME-LGIP type

Chinese shipping company Tianjin Southwest Maritime (TSM) has secured a liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) MAN B&W 6G60ME liquid gas injection propane (LGIP) engine for its very large gas carrier (VLGC).

The order was placed by Jiangnan Shipyard, owned by China State Shipbuilding Corp (CSSC) for the 86,000m3 VLGC.

MAN Energy Solutions reports that the ME-LGIP engine has experienced an up to 18 per cent reduction in CO2 and around 90 per cent reduction in particulate matter when running on LPG, compared with HFO.

The ME-LGIP engine operates on 3 per cent pilot oil and down to 10 per cent load. MAN Energy Solutions expects the engine to ultimately operate without the need for pilot oil.

The engine can also burn liquid volatile organic compounds. Bjarne Foldager, senior vice president, head of two-stroke business, MAN Energy Solutions said this was a “deliberate move on our part since the IMO will inevitably turn its focus towards the reduction of volatile organic compounds in the future. Accordingly, we view the MELGIP as also ideally suited to the propulsion of shuttle tankers and very large crude carriers.”

The engine’s ME prefix indicates that the new engine benefits from well-proven electronic controls that also encompass the fuel being injected by the Fuel Booster Injection Valve. This fuel booster, specially developed for the ME-LGI engine, ensures that a low-pressure fuel-gas supply system can be employed, significantly reducing first-time costs and increasing reliability.

LPG does not require as large an investment in infrastructure, such as bunkering facilities in contrast to other, gaseous fuels.  Availability is also high, and LPG is easier to store and handle, compared with cryogenic gaseous fuels. LPG is traditionally cheaper than marine gas oil (MGO) yet delivers the same performance and efficiency. The ability to use LPG cargo as a supplemental fuel source provides significant cost savings for LPGC owners or charterers, including reduced time and fees for fuel bunkering. MAN Energy Solutions expects a strong demand for the ME-LGIP engine from VLGCs and coastal vessels.

The development of the ME-LGIP engine to burn LPG is part of the ‘Maritime Energy Transition’ an umbrella term that covers all MAN Energy Solutions activities in regard to supporting a climate-neutral shipping industry.

Vessel delivery is scheduled for the second half of 2021 and includes an option for a second vessel.