MAN and ABB team up on dual-fuel electric propulsion solutions for LNG carriers

German engine manufacturer MAN Energy Solutions and Swiss technology group ABB have teamed up to develop a dual-fuel electric plant concept based on MAN’s recently launched 49/60DF four-stroke engine and ABB’s Dynamic AC (DAC) fuel optimisation system.

With the upcoming International Maritime Organization’s EEXI (Energy Efficiency Existing Ship Index) for existing ships and the CII (Carbon Intensity Indicator) reporting and rating regime, the partners said the concept will aim to deliver the operational flexibility shipowners need to cut carbon footprint as well as fuel bills for carriers.

MAN’s 49/60DF four-stroke engine, unveiled at this year’s SMM shipping exhibition, can run on LNG, diesel, biofuel blends and synthetic natural gas. In ABB’s DAC concept, the electrical system combines the merits of conventional AC with a variable frequency that can adjust generator load to engine speeds, thereby optimising total fuel consumption continuously. 

The new propulsion plant concept will be suitable for LNG carriers, FSUs (floating storage units) and FSRUs (floating storage and regasification units).

“This agreement represents an agile response from MAN and ABB, using our technologies to deliver a next-generation, dual-fuel, electric+ (DFE+) propulsion concept. This technology will help customers to reduce their CO2 footprint and fuel costs, and provide flexibility in operation. ABB’s DAC system and global presence are an ideal match for our new four-stroke engine,” said Elvis Ettenhofer, head of marine four-stroke – region Asia Pacific, MAN Energy Solutions.

“Progressive regulations on emissions have called for continuous innovation in marine propulsion,” said Rune Lysebo, head of global sales, ABB Marine and Ports. “To be truly future-proof, ships that are being built today need to be able to rely on flexibility in energy sourcing. The new power and propulsion system will be optimised for efficiency and compliance, and have the flexibility needed to achieve best performance.”

In addition to the joint concept study, the scope of the cooperation includes sharing technical data as well as discussing interfaces and system integration. A combined dual-fuel electric power and propulsion system could be installed with an energy storage solution to enhance load management or come coupled with ABB’s Azipod electric propulsion. MAN and ABB said they would also explore integrating fuel cells as the technology matures.

Adis Ajdin

Adis is an experienced news reporter with a background in finance, media and education. He has written across the spectrum of offshore energy and ocean industries for many years and is a member of International Federation of Journalists. Previously he had written for Navingo media group titles including Offshore Energy, Subsea World News and Marine Energy.
Back to top button