The engine to power the first of TOTE’s new “Marlin-class” dual fuel containerships is currently underway to the General Dynamics NASSCO shipyard in San Diego from its South Korean manufacturer.
The engine, known as MAN B&W 8L70ME-GI, is the world’s first dual-fuel, low-speed ME-GI engine which is capable of operation on LNG or bunker C oil. The engine was delivered from South Korea’s Doosan Engine and will be installed on the first of two new LNG-powered containerships being built for the U.S. company TOTE. The engine is currently being shipped to NASSCO and is expected to arrive around July 4.
The Korean engine maker originally won the order to build the ME-GI engines in 2013, since which time the first ME-GI unit has successfully passed through design, manufacture, and test-run stages. On June 3, 2014, Doosan Engine successfully completed the engine’s official trial run in the presence of the shipowner, shipyard, and classification society representatives.
Doosan Engine also tested the ME-GI’s Fuel Gas Supply System (FGSS), which has 300 bar of operating pressure, at its Changwon plant. After two months of extensive testing, the gas system had passed all regulations and restrictions as regulated by the American Bureau of Shipping (ABS) and United States Coast Guard (USCG).
MAN Diesel & Turbo says in addition to the ME-GI engine, a ME-LGI counterpart is also being developed that uses LPG and methanol.
TOTE’s two 3,100 TEU, “Marlin-class” containerships will be constructed at NASSCO’s San Diego shipyard and are designed by DSEC, a subsidiary of Daewoo Shipbuilding & Marine Engineering (DSME) in South Korea. The design is based on proven containership-design standards and will include DSME’s patented LNG fuel-gas system and a single 8L70ME-GI dual-fuel gas-powered engine. The new ships will operate in the U.S. Jones Act market between Jacksonville, Florida and San Juan, Puerto Rico.
The TOTE ME-GI engine will primarily operate on LNG, which will help the vessels among the most environmentally friendly containerships in the world. TOTE’s contract with NASSCO includes options for up to three additional ships. Delivery of the first two ships are scheduled for Q4 2015 and Q1 2016.
In January 2013, TOTE announced that it was returning to NASSCO for the LNG conversion of two existing Orca-class roll-/roll-off cargo ships. The propulsion package for the conversions is being supplied by the Finnish engine manufacturer Wärtsilä.