A collaborative effort between Caterpillar Marine and Cat dealer Bolier, has resulted in the conversion of a ship engine from an existing 6M43C engine to a 6-cylinder M46 Dual-Fuel platform, onboard the Coral Anthelia. The project was commissioned by Anthony Veder, a Netherlands-based specialist gas transporter. As a result of performing the retrofit within the hull, no modifications had to be done to the ship’s structure and no docking was required.
In 2012 and 2013, Anthony Veder built four new ethylene carriers fitted with MaK 6M43C propulsion engines. The fourth carrier was already in an advanced stage when the decision was made to convert the existing engine to a Liquefied natural gas (LNG) -powered dual-fuel engine.
According to Bolier’s customer support manager, Frans Jührend, the in-hull retrofit is the first upgrade in the world to use this new technique and was completed in under six weeks. Emission reduction has been an important part of Caterpillar / MaK’s development strategy for years. The DF engine retains the typical characteristics of MaK engines, such as operational reliability, efficiency and durability.
“Caterpillar is firmly committed to providing sustainable, flexible solutions that enhance our customers operations. We’re proud of the collaborative effort between Anthony Veder, MaK dealer Bolier and our engineering team to successfully achieve a beneficial industry milestone,” Karl Vollrath, Caterpillar Marine customer service manager noted. “As an LNG carrier operating in waters impacted by SECA regulations, the Coral Anthelia will be able to optimize its performance utilizing LNG, heavy fuel oil or diesel.”
The six cylinder M46 DF engine, with each cylinder offering 900 kW of rated power, meets the latest IMO III standards. The engine offers optimal flexibility for ships operating in emission controlled areas, as well as less regulated areas. The project was successfully completed in collaboration with partners such as Damen Shiprepair Rotterdam, Anthony Veder, and Caterpillar.
With a bore of 460 millimeters and stroke of 610, the M 46 dual-fuel engine was designed for electric drive propulsion systems as well as mechanical propulsion systems. Although designed for unlimited operation on LNG, marine diesel oil and heavy fuel oil, the M 46 DF will reach industry-leading efficiency in gas mode. The M 46 DF was strategically engineered to allow for the retrofitting of current M 43 C engines. Additionally, existing M 32 C engines can be retrofitted to the MaK M 34 DF dual-fuel platform.
As a result of the synergies between the two platforms, Caterpillar can perform in-hull retrofit conversions without having to move the engine block or perform extensive machining. “The benefits of an in-hull retrofit for our customers are incredibly significant,” Axel Hausmann Caterpillar Marine customer service manager stated. “In addition to preserving the integrity of the vessel, an in-hull retrofit saves the customer time and money in an industry driven by the bottom line.”