The momentum continues to gather for natural gas in High Horsepower applications, as Wärtsilä has announced that twin six-cylinder 20DF engines, running as much as 99% on LNG, will power a trio of 443-foot dry cargo inland waterway vessels for Europe.
The ships will ply the Rhine between Rotterdam and Basel, fueling at Rotterdam on LNG brought by truck from Belgium, says Bram Kruyt, inland waterways director at the Wärtsilä Services unit of Wärtsilä Netherlands B.V.
Wärtsilä is to supply a complete power system, including two Wärtsilä 20DF dual-fuel medium-speed engines, as well as two fixed-pitch propellers in a nozzle, the coldbox, and the vessel’s liquefied natural gas fuel tanks.
The first of the three vessels is being built for Combi International, a Dutch ship development, design and construction company located in Raamsdonksveer, Wärtsilä says. The order has been placed by Koedood Diesel Service.
“This order extends the benefits of gas-fueled operation to an inland waterway vessel, and represents a strong endorsement of gas as a marine fuel,” Wärtsilä said. “This will be the first-ever medium-speed, dual-fuel, mechanically driven inland waterway vessel capable of operating for 95-99% of the time on LNG fuel” – with a minimum of pilot marine gas oil for ignition. The engines will be able to operate fully on MGO too.
The new transport is part of the ECO2 Inland Vessel project, itself part of a larger initiative known as MariTIM (Maritime Technologies and Innovations Model region Germany-The Netherlands), sponsored by the EU.
More Sustainable and More Efficient
“This ECO2 Inland Vessel project is helping the inland shipping industry to become more sustainable, whilst at the same time increasing fuel efficiency and reducing costs,” said Bram Kruyt, inland waterways director at the Wärtsilä Services unit of Wärtsilä Netherlands B.V. “Under the auspices of the project,” Kruyt said in a release, “all three pilot vessels will be monitored for up to three years in order to provide valuable input data for future generations of inland waterway vessels.
“The Wärtsilä dual-fuel engines have proven their reliability throughout five million running hours,” Kruyt adds, “which clearly indicates our leading position in this field.
“Wärtsilä’s dual-fuel engine technology, which is well established in ocean going applications, can now be applied to small scale LNG fuelled vessel applications.”
“A transition to liquefied natural gas (LNG) is widely viewed as being one of the most realistic options for significantly reducing the environmental footprint of marine transportation,” notes the Wärtsilä release.
Kruyt told Fleets & Fuels that increasing interest is LNG is evidenced by the participation of companies including Shell – which formerly confined itself to upstream operations – and Ballast Nedam, which has established a subsidiary called LNG24 (F&F, April 9) for both road and marine markets.
The LNG terminal at Zeebrugge, Belgium is operated by Fluxys Belgium. It includes a facility for truck loading with capacity for 4,000 vehicle loads per year. LNG fuel is initially to be delivered by truck by GasCom-Equipment, of Troisdorf (Cologne), Germany.
Other project partners as identified by Wärtsilä are Combi Group BV, Reederei Deymann, TNO, DST and Hochschule Emden-Leer.
Wärtsilä said May 31 that its 50DF dual-fuel engines have been contracted for 100 LNG carrier vessels, “approximately one quarter of the current global fleet.”
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this item was originally posted on May 9