Mitsubishi-UE Diesel Engine, Image courtesy MHI
TOKYO (Nikkei)–Mitsubishi Heavy Industries Ltd. (7011.TO) will unveil by 2015 a natural-gas-powered vessel engine that emits 30% less carbon dioxide than conventional models, the Nikkei reports in its Nov. 26 edition.
The machinery manufacturer improved existing technology to develop a combustion engine that efficiently burns high-pressure gas through direct injection.
In addition to reducing CO2 emissions, it also slashes sulphur oxide emissions to effectively zero. The engine will be marketed to customers after emissions levels and fuel economy are tested through a trial run that starts in late 2013 at Mitsubishi Heavy‘s Kobe shipyard.
The engine will be used for liquefied-natural-gas carriers, large tankers and containerships. Prices will be set higher than those for conventional engines, but the power plants will reduce ships’ environmental footprints and fuel expenses.
Major shipbuilders are rushing to develop engines that run on LNG in light of the International Maritime Organization’s plan to tighten emissions standards for ships from 2015, targeting CO2 and sulphur oxides. Mitsubishi Heavy hopes to gain an edge over Chinese and South Korean rivals in new shipbuilding orders by touting cleaner LNG-powered engines.
(c) 2012 Dow Jones & Company
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