First containership LNG conversion announced

Next year German owner Wessels Reederei will become the first company to convert a containership to use LNG as a fuel. The 1,036 teu Wes Amelie will be converted in a project that is sponsored by the German ministry of transport. The news was broken at the SMM fair in Hamburg this week. Partners in the project include MAN Diesel & Turbo, TGE Marine Gas Engineering, SMB Naval Architects & Consultants and Bureau Veritas.

Shipowner Gerd Wessels said, “With the conversion to LNG we and our partners showcase our technical expertise and demonstrate practical environmental solutions for the merchant marine industry.”

Philippe Donche-Gay, president of class society Bureau Veritas’s marine and offshore division commented, “Our experience with this kind of conversion on small scale LNG vessels helps the owners and other partners to move confidently to this new and cleaner fuel.”

The vessel has a MAN 8 L 48/60B engine driving a controlled pitch propeller via gearing. MAN will convert the existing engine to a 51/60 DF dual-fuel engine. The LNG tank of about 500 cu m will be located in the fore part of the vessel to limit the loss of cargo capacity. Following the conversion Wes Amelie will meet Tier III of Marpol Annex 6 regulations.

Sam Chambers

Starting out with the Informa Group in 2000 in Hong Kong, Sam Chambers became editor of Maritime Asia magazine as well as East Asia Editor for the world’s oldest newspaper, Lloyd’s List. In 2005 he pursued a freelance career and wrote for a variety of titles including taking on the role of Asia Editor at Seatrade magazine and China correspondent for Supply Chain Asia. His work has also appeared in The Economist, The New York Times, The Sunday Times and The International Herald Tribune.
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