MAN Hands Over First LNG-Converted Containership

| Germany, Hamburg

Wes AmelieMAN Diesel & Turbo has led the way with the first dual-fuel conversion of a containership. The 152 metre Wes Amelie, built in 2011, is now able to operate using Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG). MAN is optimistic the successful retrofit will stimulate further conversions.

At a recent event at the Hamburg offices of MAN Diesel & Turbo, Dr Uwe Lauber – CEO of MAN Diesel & Turbo – presented Gerd Wessels, Managing Owner of Wessels Reederei with a take-over certificate marking the formal conclusion of the ‘Wes Amelie’ LNG conversion project.

“By providing customers with the technology to retrofit their existing fleet, we are driving what we call the maritime energy transition”, said Dr Lauber. “There are roughly 40,000 cargo vessels in operation worldwide. If we are serious about decarbonisation and want the shipping industry to be climate neutral by 2050, we need to take action today.”

Gerd Wessels responded: “This pioneering project marks a milestone in the European container feeder market, and MAN has impressively proven that existing engines can be converted to LNG operation with a tremendous effect on exhaust emissions and the environment.”

The project involved the retrofitting of the 1,036-teu feeder container ship’s MAN 8L48/60B main engine to a multi-fuel, four-stroke MAN 51/60DF unit that enables dual-fuel operation – the first such conversion of its type the world has ever seen.

Containership emissions fully compliant

Operating in the Nordic and Baltic seas emission control areas (ECA), the Wes Amelie must conform to strict emissions limits. “By converting to a low emission fuel, we are safeguarding the future of this container ship as well as our own competitiveness in the market,” added Christian Hoepfner, General Manager of Wessels Reederei.

The dual-fuel conversion has enabled the Wes Amelie to significantly reduce its SOx emissions by >99%, NOx by approximately 90%, and CO2 by up to 20%. The vessel now meets both the Tier II and Tier III emission requirements set by the International Maritime Organisation (IMO).

Stefan Eefting, Head of MAN PrimeServ in Augsburg, also attended the ceremony and said: “We are very happy to have successfully completed this project with the great cooperation of our partner, Wessels Reederei. In doing so, we trust that the dramatic reduction in emissions will mark the beginning of a trend towards the adoption of LNG as an environmentally friendly fuel within the maritime sector.”

Works were carried out at German Dry Docks in Bremerhaven in cooperation with gas-specialist, TGE Marine Engineering, who provided tank and LNG components. Bureau Veritas, the international classification society based in France, classed the conversion.

Wessels and MAN Diesel & Turbo originally signed the retrofit contract at the Europort exhibition for maritime technology in November 2015. The ‘Wes Amelie’ was constructed in 2011 and has already re-entered service on its usual route between the North and Baltic Seas.

Multiplier effect

When selecting a suitable vessel for conversion, MAN paid special attention to the scalability of the engineering services as well as the development costs, reducing significantly the costs for follow-up projects. In this respect, the Wes Amelie has 23 sister ships, 16 of them structurally identical, which would allow follow-up projects to be easily implemented. This ship therefore facilitates a multiplier effect, with multiple, other, ‘conversion-capable’ vessels also found around the European continent.


Source: MAN Diesel & Turbo

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