Wartsila helping develop LNG-powered dry bulk carrier


(HELSINKI) — Wartsila is teaming up with an international group of shipping industry companies and organizations in a project to develop a concept for equipping future dry bulk carrier vessels with liquefied natural gas (LNG) propulsion.

Project Forward is led by Athens-based Arista Shipping. It began officially in May 2015 with the aim of developing a commercially feasible LNG-powered dry bulk carrier design capable of complying with the International Maritime Organization’s (IMO) Energy Efficiency Design Index 2025 standards, as well as with all relevant emission reduction regulations. In addition to Arista Shipping, the other parties involved in the project are Finnish ship designer Deltamarin, the Houston-based classification society American Bureau of Shipping (ABS) and GTT, the French LNG membrane containment system designer.

The Wartsila 31DF dual-fuel engine is likely to form the basis of the concept’s propulsion system. Introduced in June 2015, the Wartsila 31 has been recognized by Guinness World Records as being the world’s most efficient four-stroke diesel engine. The DF version allows the use of either LNG or conventional marine fuel oils. While two-stroke engines are the conventional choice for vessels of this type, the efficiency of the Wartsila 31 engine makes it a competitive and viable alternative option.

“Wartsila has been selected to participate in this important project because of our depth of experience in LNG propulsion solutions, our strong position in four-stroke engine technology, and in particular because of the state-of-the-art Wartsila 31 engine. This engine has not only taken efficiency to a new benchmark level, but in gas mode is IMO Tier III compliant without the need for any exhaust cleaning systems. We are proud to be a part of this future-looking project, which could eventually be applied equally well to other types and sizes of merchant vessel,” said Aaron Bresnahan, vice pesident, sales, Wartsila Marine Solutions.

“Project Forward aims to become a milestone for the shipping industry and in particular for owners and operators of cargo ships. Owners must decide within the next five to 10 years whether gas as fuel is a practical means of compliance with lower emissions standards and this project will enable all of us to understand its feasibility. We welcome Wartsila’s involvement, as it is a company with great experience in this field,” said Arista Shipping principal Alexander P. Panagopulos.

The project is to be presented as a topic at the Posidonia 2016 conference and exhibition, to be held in Athens, Greece, from June 6-10.

Wartsila has long been a marine industry pioneer in the development of gas and dual-fuel engine technologies. The company has also led the way in offering complete fuel gas handling and storage systems, as well as gas propulsion systems for all types of vessels.

The Wartsila 31 engine

The Wartsila 31 is the first of a new generation of medium speed engines, designed to set a new benchmark in efficiency and overall emissions performance. It is available in eight- to 16-cylinder configurations and has a power output ranging from 4.2 to 9.8 MW, at 720 and 750 rpm. This four-stroke engine has the best fuel economy of any engine in its class. At the same time, it maintains outstanding performance across the complete operating range. Its modular design enables a significant reduction in maintenance time and costs, thereby improving power availability and reducing the need for parts.

For more information, visit www.wartsila.com.

By Professional Mariner Staff