Marine Diesel Engine: New Dual-fuel Engine in MAN Portfolio

By George Backwell at July 13, 2013 00:56
Filed Under: Fuels & Lubes, LPG, Methanol Fuel

A new dual-fuel marine diesel engine variant from MAN Diesel & Turbo, the ME-LGI,  runs on liquid gas fuels – methanol, LPG, dimethyl ether (DME), and (bio-) ethanol as well as other, low-flash-point fuels – building on the manufacturer’s successful LNG /HFO dual-fuel ME-GI low speed engine plant introduced last year.

MAN developed the ME-LGI engine in response to interest from the shipping world in using alternatives to heavy fuel oil. Methanol and LPG carriers have already operated at sea for many years and many more LPG tankers are currently being built as the global LPG infrastructure grows; in themselves a ready market once a suitable dual-fuel engine became available.

Sure enough,  the new engine, unveiled on 1, July 2013 was snapped up as MAN signed a Letter of Intent with Vancouver-based Waterfront Shipping for the installation of four MAN ME-LGI engines which will run on a blend of 95% methanol and 5% diesel fuel.


Chemical Carrier Tankship:
Photo courtesy of Waterfront Shipping

Waterfront Shipping, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Methanex Corporation, has a fleet of eighteen double-hulled deep-sea bulk chemicals and clean petroleum products tankships, including methane. With a viable, convenient and economic fuel already on-board, to exploit a fraction of the cargo to power a vessel made immediate sense, with the added benefit of a reduction in exhaust gas emissions.

Methanol is a sulphur-free, clean-burning fuel and MAN Diesel & Turbo sees a far wider market potential for it as a bunker fuel apart from its obvious attraction as the fuel of choice for the specialised methanol tankship. They say they expect all their existing MAN B&W two-stroke engines to be retrofittable – in a cost-efficient manner – for operation according to the LGI concept on either methanol or LPG, adding that they are already working towards a Tier lll-compatible ME-LGI version of the engine.

The New Engine
The ME-LGI concept is an entirely new concept that can be applied to all MAN Diesel & Turbo low-speed engines, either ordered as an original unit or through retrofitting. Two concepts are key:
    •    The engine’s ‘ME-’ prefix indicates that the new engine benefits from well-proven electronic controls that also encompass the fuel being injected by a so-called Booster Fuel 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.



Fuel Booster: Image courtesy of MAN Diesel & Turbo

“With increasing fuel prices and upcoming shipping regulations, we identified the need to develop an engine that can enable ships to run on alternative fuels with environmental benefits. The ability of our ME-LGI engine to run on a sulphur-free fuel offers great potential,” according to Ole Grøne, Senior Vice-President, MAN Diesel & Turbo SE.

The four G50ME-LGI units are targeted for the end of 2013, with engine delivery to follow in the summer of 2015.

 

 

 

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