MAN Energy Solutions has signed a contract for the conversion of a 15,000 TEU container vessel to dual fuel operation. The container vessel MV SAJIR is owned by Hapag-Lloyd, one of the world’s leading liner shipping companies, and normally serves a route from Asia to northern Europe via the Suez Canal. The pilot project will entail the conversion of an existing, HFO-burning MAN B&W 9S90ME-C engine to a dual fuel MAN B&W ME-GI (Gas Injection) prime mover capable of running on HFO and LNG. The retrofit will be done at the Chinese Hudong/HRDD shipyard, specialized in ship repair and conversion.
Wayne Jones OBE – Chief Sales Officer and Member of the Executive Board, MAN Energy Solutions – said: “We are seeing great interest in this project from the industry as a whole. This is an excellent showcase for the conversion of a mega-container vessel to LNG and the potential benefits for the market is huge.”
The emission savings for MAN B&W two-stroke engines are significant when converting an existing HFO engine to LNG. “By converting the ‘Sajir’, we will be the first shipping company to retrofit a container ship of this size to LNG propulsion”, said Richard von Berlepsch, Managing Director Fleet Management at Hapag-Lloyd. “With this unprecedented pilot, we hope to learn for the future and to pave the way for large ships to be retrofitted to use this alternative fuel.”
The Hapag-Lloyd pilot project is scheduled to take place in 2020 when the five-year old vessel will spend 90 days in dock. The DNV-GL approved gas-storage system will occupy an area equivalent to 350 containers, including the pipework between storage and engine.
The retrofitting of the MAN B&W 9S90ME-C engine to ME-GI dual-fuel running is part of the ‘Maritime Energy Transition’, an umbrella term that covers all MAN Energy Solutions activities in regard to supporting a climate-neutral shipping industry. The term stems from the German expression ‘Energiewende’ and encapsulates MAN Energy Solutions’ call to action to reduce emissions and establish natural gases as the fuels of choice in global shipping. It promotes a global ‘turn to gas’, driven by the IMO, and a common approach by the shipping industry and politics to invest in infrastructure development and retrofits.