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U.S. shipping company Matson Navigation has signed an agreement with MAN Energy Solutions to retrofit the main engine on board the 2018-built containership Daniel K. Inouye to dual-fuel LNG.
The 3,600 TEU capacity ship currently has a MAN B&W 7S90ME-C main engine with “dual-fuel ready” capability. The new engine, a MAN B&W 7S90ME-GI, is capable of operating on LNG and fuel oil and the conversion is said to be relatively straightforward, according to MAN Energy Solutions. The new engine is part of MAN Energy Solutions’ popular two-stroke ME-GI gas injection line.
The agreement with MAN Energy Solutions includes an option for a second vessel.
“Retrofitting an MAN B&W engine to dual-fuel running is a straightforward, proven process as our standard, electronic diesel engines are already built as ‘dual-fuel ready’ and are therefore readily convertible,” said Jens Seeberg, Head of Retrofit & Upgrades at MAN Energy Solutions. “Dual-fuel retrofits offer a viable pathway to shipowners such as Matson who foster a company-wide ethic of environmental sustainability and wish to achieve a net-zero carbon footprint by 2050. Ultimately, when bio-LNG and SNG come on-line in sufficient volumes, ME-GI engines operating on these fuels will also satisfy such net-zero aspirations.”
The Daniel K. Inouye became the largest commercial ship ever built in the United States when it was delivered by Philly Shipyard in 2018. A second ship in the Aloha-class, Kaimana Hila, was delivered by Philly Shipyard in early 2019. The Aloha-class are also the fastest in Matson’s fleet with a top speed of 23.5 mph.
The vessels were originally intended for regular service between the U.S. mainland and Hawaii—a Jones Act trade.
At some point, the Daniel K. Inouye was transitioned to Matson’s premium, expedited service from China to Southern California. Post-retrofit, the Daniel K. Inouye is expected to continue to operate on trans-Pacific routes between the US West Coast and Asia from mid-2023, said the MAN Energy Solutions press release.
MAN Energy Solutions says that converting the Daniel K. Inouye to LNG fuel is projected to reduce its CO2 emissions by 24% with “a maximum, guaranteed, ultra-low methane slip of between 0.20-0.28 g/kWh across the load envelope.”
The company provided some additional details about the retrofit:
As part of the retrofit solution, MAN Energy Solutions will also provide a Pump and Vaporizer Unit (PVU), the prefered high-pressure pump and vaporizer for MAN B&W ME-GI engines, which will be integrated into the Daniel K Inouye’s Fuel Gas Supply System (FGSS). The PVU pressurises LNG to 300 bar and vaporises the liquefied fuel to gaseous form for supply to the main engine. Furthermore, its control system is based on that of the MAN B&W ME-GI engine and thus offers seamless integration and high performance in gas-mode.
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