90% reduction in sulphur oxides
Fred Olsen S.A., a Spanish shipping company that has specialised in services to the Canary Islands, has adapted a Caterpillar 3618 propulsion engine to dual-fuel operation, able to run on both Liquefied Natural gas (LNG) and diesel. The retrofit, carried out under the auspices of the EU GAINN4SHIP INNOVATION project, was presented at the Navantia facilities in Cartagena (Murcia).
During the event, which was opened by the Corporate Director of Systems, Alfredo Gordo, and the General Manager of Fred. Olsen S.A, Andrés Marín, details about the conversion of this engine were presented, as well as about its test bench validation according to the protocol established by the classification society DNV-GL.
In the next few days, the engine testing will be completed with the “Acceptance Test”, which certifies the safe and reliable operation of the engine in dual-fuel mode, in compliance with the technical standards and emissions regulations currently in force.
Measurements of exhaust gas emissions from the retrofitted engine (FO3618DF) were carried out with the collaboration in the project of technicians and teams from the Polytechnic University of Cartagena (UPCT).
The initial data presented at the event regarding emissions from the retrofitted engine showed a 90% reduction in sulphur oxides as well as a reduction in carbon dioxide and in nitrogen oxides, when the engine is operating in dual-fuel mode with a ratio of 90% natural gas to 10% diesel.
This initiative forms part of the GAINN4SHIP INNOVATION project, co-financed by the European Union via the “Connect Europe” programme and coordinated by Fundación Valenciaport. Its main aim is to complete the world’s first retrofit of a high-speed ro-pax vessel, the Bencomo Express, so that it can run on LNG as of 2018.
The technological solutions that will be applied to the HSC ropax vessel will prove that using LNG as marine fuel for the HSC (High-Speed Craft) fleet is possible. The pilot will be the first case in the world of a retrofitted HSC ropax vessel that maintains all the features needed in the liner service where the ship is deployed whilst increasing service quality.
The technology developed for the adaptation of this propulsion engine to dual fuel will be used to convert the four CAT3618 engines currently on the Bencomo Express, without any need to replace them with new ones. This internationally pioneering technology developed by Fred. Olsen will be applicable to most high-speed vessels operating around the world.
Following successful installation and trials with the Bencomo Express, the company plans to convert its entire fleet to dual-fuel operations in the short-to-medium term, thereby maintaining the current shipping model of using high-speed vessels and at the same time reducing the impact of emissions on the environmentally sensitive Canary islands.
(Source: Fred Olsen S.A.)