Taking place at MAN’s Tamano facility near Okayama, Japan, testing included switching over to methanol fuel from HFO, rising from 50% Methanol to 75% at various engine loads, before switching back to HFO.
The ME-LGI is the world’s first low-speed diesel to be capable of reliable operation on low-flashpoint fuels methanol and LPG, allowing each newbuild, under construction at Minaminippon Shipbuilding in Japan, to burn a portion of its cargo as fuel.
Operation on methanol not only eliminates bunkering costs for the carrier, but also eliminates sulphur from the emissions mix entirely, as well as “significantly” reducing CO2 and NOx, according to a statement by MOL. “Thus, methanol is an important fuel that does not include SOx and can replace fuel oil and thereby place fewer burdens on the environment,” said the group.
Ole Grøne, senior vp of low speed promotion & sales at MAN D&T, said: “The immediate market acceptance of our ME-GI (Gas Injection) engine confirmed the growing demand for low-sulphur, non-HFO options in the face of increasingly stricter sulphur limits in fuel. In turn, extending our dual-fuel engine programme with an ME-LGI unit that can run on liquid fuels was therefore a natural step.”
“The interest in our ME-LGI engine confirms this dual-fuel, low-speed trend and will offer even more alternatives to HFO, which – apart from methanol – will include LPG, dimethyl ether (DME), and (bio-) ethanol, as well as several other, low-sulphur, low-flashpoint fuels.”