World’s first ethane ship engine completed

World’s first ethane ship engine completed

Japan’s Mitsui Engineering & Shipbuilding has completed the world’s first ME-GIE ethane-operated two-stroke diesel engine. The engines will be for propulsion of three ethylene carriers, which will also carry ethane as cargo.

The Mitsui-MAN B&W 7G50ME-C9.5-GIE is the first engine in a series of three for installation in three LEG (liquefied ethylene gas) carriers of 36,000 cu m for Hartmann Schiffahrt of Germany and Ocean Yield of Norway, being built at Sinopacific Offshore Engineering (SOE) in China.

MAN Diesel & Turbo reported that ethane was chosen as fuel, in preference to HFO, due to its more competitive pricing as well as the significantly shorter bunkering time it entails.

“As a fuel, its emissions profile is also superior to HFO – in which respect it is similar to methane – and compared to HFO contains negligible sulphur, 15-20% lower CO2 and emits significantly fewer particles during combustion,” MAN Diesel & Turbo said in a statement.

The ME-GI engines will be set up so that they can easily be converted to run on methane as an alternative, as per the owner’s wish.

MAN Diesel & Turbo currently has eight ME-GIE engines on order.

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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