MAN Energy Solutions reported that the 1,036-TEU container ship, ‘ElbBLUE’ – the former ‘Wes Amelie’ – has reduced its greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions by 27% by operating on a blend of climate-neutral, synthetic LNG and conventional LNG, compared to LNG alone. Compared with heavy fuel oil (HFO), GHG emission reduction was even as high as 34%. The data has emerged from measurements initially carried out on board the ship in September 2021 when the ElbBLUE became the first container ship worldwide to replace a portion of its bunkered gas fuel (around 50%) with synthetic LNG.
“With this project, we have proven the technical viability of our concept of the maritime energy transition. Today, more than ever, we are convinced that climate-neutral, synthetic fuels point the way to green shipping – and even further beyond,” said Dr. Uwe Lauber, CEO of MAN Energy Solutions. “The current, global, political situation underscores the future role that synthetic fuels can play in a diversified energy supply in that they point the way toward less dependence on raw material deposits, suppliers and price fluctuations.”
Stefan Eefting, Senior Vice President and Head of MAN PrimeServ Augsburg, commented: “With this pilot project, we have proven that any LNG-powered ship can also operate with green synthetic LNG from power-to-X. Even with a blend of just 50%, GHG and pollutant emissions are significantly reduced. When operated exclusively on synthetic LNG, we would expect a reduction of at least 80% in GHG emissions for modern ships.”
Gas operation also drastically reduces other polluting emissions compared to HFO. In the case of the ElbBLUE, NOx emissions dropped by almost 87%, while SOx emissions and particulates were almost completely eliminated (~99%). These values were achieved in both the exclusive operation on LNG and on a blend of LNG and synthetic LNG.
Measurements were carried out on a voyage between Brunsbüttel, Germany and Rotterdam, the Netherlands with synthetic LNG comprising approximately 50% of the bunkered gas at 85% engine load. The ElbBLUE (owned by German shipping company Elbdeich and operated by charterer Unifeeder) is powered by an MAN 51/60DF four-stroke engine. As a multi-fuel engine, the unit allows operation with either HFO or LNG as fuel. The ship’s test-run proved that the latter can be replaced by synthetic LNG without engine modification.
Source: MAN Energy Solutions