Matson to convert third containership to run on LNG

(HONOLULU) — Matson Navigation Co. has confirmed that it will convert the main engine aboard its containership Kaimana Hila from a MAN B&W S90ME-C10.5 unit to a dual-fuel ME-GI unit capable of running on liquefied natural gas (LNG).

In doing so, Matson is exercising an option contained in a contract it signed with MAN Energy Solutions in June 2022 to perform an identical conversion on sister ship Daniel K. Inouye. Kaimana Hila was built in 2019 and MAN Energy Solutions’ after-sales division, MAN PrimeServ, will perform the 3,600-TEU vessel’s retrofit.

“This order is the latest example in an increasing trend of owners choosing dual-fuel retrofits for their existing vessels in service to achieve fleet transformation goals while simultaneously gaining benefits in terms of upcoming regulations such as CII and EEXI,” said Klaus Rasmussen, head of projects and PVU sales, MAN PrimeServ. “Retrofitting an MAN B&W engine to dual-fuel running is straightforward as our standard, electronically-controlled diesel engines are constructed as ‘dual-fuel ready’ and therefore readily retrofittable. Such retrofits offer a viable pathway to shipowners that wish to achieve a net-zero carbon footprint by 2050.”

Matson Navigation Co. photo

“This will be the third vessel Matson is retrofitting with dual-fuel LNG capability,” said Capt. Jack Sullivan, Matson’s senior vice president, vessel operations and engineering. “Each retrofit is a meaningful step toward achieving our corporate sustainability goals to achieve a 40 percent reduction in Scope 1 greenhouse gas fleet emissions by 2030 and net-zero Scope 1 GHG emissions by 2050.”

The option take-up comes on the heels of the recent announcement by Matson of the construction of three LNG-powered newbuilds that will also be driven by ME-GI engines.

MAN Energy Solutions continually develops technologies that enable customers to meet environmental and commercial goals, as well as today and tomorrow’s regulatory standards. Since the first two-stroke ME-GI (LNG) retrofit in 2015, the company has built references and expanded its portfolio of dual-fuel retrofits to also include fuels like liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) and methanol.

Retrofitting a dual-fuel engine is one of the most effective ways to derive greater efficiency and profitability from a shipping fleet. As such, a dual-fuel conversion delivers the fuel flexibility to take advantage of optimal fuel prices; it can also help vessels comply with International Maritime Organization emission targets and extend their operational lifetimes to bring a greater return on investments.

– MAN Energy Solutions

By Rich Miller