The technology group Wärtsilä will commercially launch its Two-Stroke Future Fuels Conversion platform during the first quarter of 2022. This innovative and patented engine combustion technology platform will enable the fast and cost-effective conversion of two-stroke main engines to operate on clean-burning future fuels. This is seen as a major step in the maritime industry’s efforts to achieve decarbonised shipping operations, while the easy retrofitting will avoid owners having to face long off-hire charter time.
The retrofit conversion will initially enable operation with currently available LNG fuel, most importantly with negligible methane slip from the engine. The modular design of this concept provides a platform that will be further developed in order to allow for the adoption of alternative green fuels or fuel blends when they become commercially available.
The development programme has recently been concluded with successful initial engine tests in the Wärtsilä two-stroke engine laboratory in Trieste. MSC Shipmanagement has collaborated with Wärtsilä throughout the development as a key partner in the piloting and advancement of the platform towards future fuel applications. Representatives from MSC were in attendance during some of the testing procedures.
“Wärtsilä has taken a leading position in the development and delivery of smart technology solutions that will accelerate the realisation of our industry’s decarbonisation ambitions. This pioneering conversion solution is one more prime example of our capabilities and commitment. Its flexibility means that the first step towards adopting the use of future fuels can be taken now knowing that the investment will not become obsolete. The benefits, both economic and environmental, are significant,” says Roger Holm, President Marine Power & EVP Wärtsilä Corporation.
“We have been following the development of this innovative conversion solution with high interest and we regard it as a supporting element in MSC’s journey towards net zero decarbonisation by 2050. Together with Wärtsilä we have high expectations for the next steps of this initiative, which starts with technology demonstration on one of our larger container vessels with a Wärtsilä RT-flex96C-B main engine, and which will continue to make our existing fleet ready to meet future emissions needs,” says Prabhat Jha, CEO & Group Managing Director MSC Shipmanagement.
A world-first feature of the concept is the cryogenic fuel supply system, which together with a revolutionary injection system, provides flexible and optimised operational performance under all conditions. Among the other notable benefits delivered by this future-proofing solution are the capability to comply with upcoming environmental regulations and therefore providing assets with an extended operational life.
The conversion solution is aimed at vessels operating with two-stroke, electronically controlled engines. The concept can be complemented with Wärtsilä’s market-leading Fuel Gas Supply System to provide a complete turnkey solution. This will expand the company’s offering of fuel-flexible options to help meet its customers’ decarbonisation strategies.
The first commercial conversion project will be completed by mid-2023. The conversion concept is applicable to both large- and smaller bore engine types.