MSC tests Wartsila retrofit engine conversion for clean fuels of the future

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MSC will work with Wartsila to test the conversion platform on one of its ships (MSC file photo)

Posted on November 16, 2021 6:34 PM by

The maritime executive

After successful testing in partnership with MSC, Wartsila is preparing to commercialize a future fuel conversion solution that they believe could be an important part of the industry to address existing ships as part of efforts to reduce and eliminate CO2 emissions . After the commercial start in the first quarter of next year, Wartsila expects the first commercial remodeling project to be completed by mid-2023.

According to Wartsila, the engine combustion technology platform will enable main engines to be quickly and cheaply converted to run on the clean fuels of the future. The conversion solution is aimed at ships with electronically controlled two-stroke engines and can be supplemented with the fuel gas supply system to create a complete turnkey solution. The conversion concept applies to both large and small engines.

The retrofit conversion initially enables operation with currently available LNG fuel with negligible methane slip from the engine. The modular nature of this concept provides a platform that will be further developed to enable the introduction of alternative green fuels or fuel blends when they are commercially available.

“Together with Wärtsilä, we have high expectations for the next steps in this initiative, which begins with a technology demonstration on one of our larger container ships with a Wärtsilä RT-flex96C-B main engine and will continue to make our existing fleet fit for future emissions requirements,” says Prabhat Jha, CEO & Group Managing Director MSC Shipmanagement.

The conversion platform has a unique cryogenic fuel supply system of its kind which, together with an injection system, provides flexible and optimized operating performance in all conditions. Wartsila reports that it will make retrofitting easier to cut down on long off-hire charter times, and it’s also a future-proof solution that can meet upcoming environmental regulations. It will extend the operating life of current ships, which has been an important consideration for the shipping industry.

“Wärtsilä has taken a leadership position in developing and delivering intelligent technology solutions that accelerate our industry’s decarbonization goals,” said Roger Holm, President Marine Power & EVP Wärtsilä Corporation. “Thanks to its flexibility, the first step towards using future fuels can already be taken now with the certainty that the investment will not become obsolete. The advantages, both economically and ecologically, are considerable. “

The development program was recently concluded with successful first engine tests in the Wärtsilä two-stroke engine laboratory in Trieste. MSC Shipmanagement has worked with Wärtsilä as a key partner during the entire development process to pilot and further develop the platform for future fuel applications. Representatives from MSC were present at some of the testing procedures.

Wartsila says the platform will enable owners to future proof existing ships by using LNG currently and switching to future clean fuels when they become available (Wartsila).

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