Wessels Reederei has taken back its vessel, the Wes Amelie, which has become the first boxship to convert to dual-fuel operations.
Gerd Wessels, the boss of the German line, said: “This pioneering project marks a milestone in the European container feeder market, and MAN has impressively proven that existing engines can be converted to LNG operation with a tremendous effect on exhaust emissions and the environment.”
The project involved the retrofitting of the 1,036 teu feeder container ship’s MAN 8L48/60B main engine to a multi-fuel, four-stroke MAN 51/60DF unit that enables dual-fuel operation – the first such conversion of its type the world has ever seen.
Christian Hoepfner, general Mmanager of Wessels Reederei, commented: “The Wes Amelie operates in the highly regulated Nordic and Baltic Seas. Since they are both within Emission Control Areas, the ship needs to meet the highest environmental standards and strictest limits for emissions. By converting to a low emission fuel, we are safeguarding the future of this containership as well as our own competitiveness in the market.”
Dr Uwe Lauber, CEO of MAN Diesel & Turbo, hailed the conversion as the start of shipping’s great energy switch. “There are roughly 40,000 cargo vessels in operation worldwide. If we are serious about decarbonisation and want the shipping industry to be climate neutral by 2050, we need to take action today,” he said.
The dual-fuel conversion has enabled the Wes Amelie to reduce its SOx emissions by 99%, NOx by approximately 90%, and CO2 by up to 20%, according to statistics provided by MAN. The vessel now meets both the Tier II and Tier III emission requirements set by the International Maritime Organisation (IMO).
Works were carried out at German Dry Docks in Bremerhaven in cooperation with gas-specialist, TGE Marine Engineering, who provided tank and LNG components.
The Wes Amelie was constructed in 2011 and has already re-entered service on its usual route between the North and Baltic Seas.