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LNG carrier chooses new Wärtsilä engine as main propulsion

LNG Industry,

Chinese ship owner, Zhejiang Huaxiang Shipping, has ordered a 5-cylinder Wärtsilä RT-flex50DF dual-fuel engine, together with the gas valve unit and other relevant equipment, for a new LNG carrier.

The Qidong Fengshun Ship Heavy Industry Company in China is building the new vessel according to the Chinese Class Society (CCS) standards. The contract was signed in March 2014. The 14 000 m3 LNG carrier is due for delivery in August 2015, and will operate along the Chinese coastline to serve domestic LNG transportation lines.

Dual-fuel technology

Wärtsilä’s low-pressure, dual-fuel technology for 2-stroke engines offers significant CAPEX and OPEX benefits, and in gas mode is compliant with the IMO's Tier III emission regulations. Compared to other technologies, studies show that Wärtsilä's low-pressure dual-fuel engines offer capital expenditure reductions of 15 – 20%. In terms of OPEX capabilities, the ability of low-pressure dual-fuel engines to operate on gas at all loads, substantially reduces costs.

The new 2-stroke dual-fuel application makes the use of LNG fuel available to virtually all vessel types. The Wärtsilä RT-flex50DF engine is the first of the new series to be manufactured.

Meets market demand

"We feel that the Wärtsilä dual-fuel engine is excellent, especially the low pressure 2-stroke dual-fuel version, which we see as being an innovation that meets the demand of the market. As owners, we are very satisfied with this engine technology and believe that it will capture a large share of the market. We look forward to seeing this technology extended to cover other cylinder bores," commented Cai Dejiang, general manager of Zhejiang Huaxiang.

"This second contract for the Wärtsilä low-speed dual-fuel engines in a few months demonstrates the fast market acceptance of this ‘game-changer’ technology. This is the first time that Wärtsilä low-speed dual-fuel engine will power an LNG carrier. It represents a very feasible solution for this vessel class. The extension of Wärtsilä low-speed dual-fuel engine portfolio to bigger bore sizes such as the Wärtsilä X62DF and Wärtsilä X72DF engines will further expand the range of applications for the low-speed dual-fuel engine family to larger container vessels, tankers, LNG carriers and bulk carriers," added Martin Wernli, vice president 2-stroke, Wärtsilä Ship Power.

LNG concept

Wärtsilä's low pressure LNG concept is a lean burning Otto-cycle gas engine that has additional liquid fuel back-up capability, enabling vessels to operate solely on LNG.

Zhejiang Huaxiang specialises in the safe transportation of LNG, and is one of two companies to have the Business Certificate of LNG transportation in coastal China, issued by the Ministry of Transport of the People's Republic of China.

Adapted from press release by Katie Woodward

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