Methanol Fuel Niche Filled by Flex-Fuel MAN Engine

By George Backwell at December 20, 2013 23:32
Filed Under: LPG, Methanol Fuel, Marine Diesel Engines

The new MAN B&W ME-LGI dual fuel engine which can burn sustainable fuels has been chosen by Vancouver-based Waterfront Shipping for a series of 50,000 dwt methanol carriers. The engines exploit a fraction of the cargo as fuel to run on 95% methanol ignited by 5% pilot oil. MAN Diesel & Turbo officially designates the ME-LGI engine ‘ME-B9.3-LGI’ (LGI stands for Liquid Gas Injection).

Ole Grøne, Senior Vice President – Low Speed Promotion & Sales – MAN Diesel & Turbo, said: “This order represents a real market breakthrough for our Liquid Gas Injection engine and is the first such, commercial project that is not reliant on external funding. Simply put, the ME-LGI engine was chosen for these carriers because it is the engine best suited to the application. The LGI engine is designed to handle low-flash- point, low-sulphur fuels like LPG and methanol, etc. Consequently, its green credentials are striking with emissions of sulphur being almost completely eliminated.”

A Waterfront Shipping Vessel: Image courtesy of the owners

Waterfront Shipping, a wholly owned subsidiary of Methanex Corporation, is a global marine  transportation company specialising in the transport of bulk chemicals and clean petroleum products. With the growing demand for cleaner marine fuel to meet environmental regulations coming into effect in Northern Europe and other regions, methanol is a promising alternative fuel for ships.

About the Electronic LGI Engine
The working principle of the GI engine is similar to that of its traditional two-stroke diesel counterpart, but with the combustion process based on a high air surplus and a high-pressure gas injection system. The engine is a large-bore Mark 9 engine (introduced by MAN in 2006) with an ultra-long stroke.

ME-GI dual-fuel low-speed engine: Image courtesy MAN Diesel & Turbo

Having a longer stroke results in a lower rpm optimum engine speed which in turn allows the use of a larger propeller and is thus significantly more efficient in terms of engine propulsion. Together with an optimised engine design, fuel consumption and CO2 emissions are reduced.

GI engine control and safety is handled by an add-on unit to the proven ME engine control system. In the main, modified parts in a GI engine are double-walled high-pressure gas pipes; a gas valve control block with internal accumulator on the (slightly modified) cylinder cover; gas injection valves and electronic gas injection (ELGI) valves to control the amount of gas injected.

MAN Diesel & Turbo says it is working towards an exhaust gas emission Tier lll compliant ME-LGI version.



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