Slow-speed marine diesel engine converted to operate on ethane

The conversion of a slow-speed marine diesel engine to operate on ethane as a fuel has been successfully completed.

Navigator Gas, in partnership with charterer Borealis, engine manufacturer MAN Energy Solutions, cargo system and fuel gas supply system supplier TGE and class society ABS, has completed the successful conversion of the Navigator Aurora’s main engine from LNG fuelling to ethane fuelling, while berthed alongside at Frederikshavn in Denmark.

Navigator Aurora is a 35,000 cu m ethylene/LPG carrier, delivered in August 2016, equipped with a MAN B&W 6S50ME-C8.2-GI dual fuel (HFO/LNG) burning engine, which has now been converted to a dual fuel (HFO/ethane) 6S50ME-C-GIE engine.

The 15-day long conversion followed engine performance and emissions testing at Kawasaki in Japan, to prove the principle that burning ethane in the Navigator ME-GI engines would be possible.

Paul Flaherty, director of fleet and technical operations at Navigator Gas, commented: “This retrofit modification will comply with all current global emissions regulations and position us as early adopters of the global sulphur cap regulation due to come into force on January 1 2020.”

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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