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MAN lands first methanol-powered VLCC engine order

Image: MAN MAN methanol engine
China Merchants Energy Shipping (CMES) has ordered a MAN B&W 7G80ME-LGIM engine for a VLCC that is to be built by Dalian Shipbuilding Industry Co for delivery in April 2026.

The order, placed by the China Merchants Heavy Industry subsidiary, is the first dual-fuel methanol engine to be installed on a VLCC.

The engine will be built by China Shipbuilding Industry Corporation Diesel Engine Co. Ltd. It will incorporate MAN’s exhaust gas recirculation emissions reduction technology.

The contract appears to underpin methanol’s steady advance as a future fuel. It follows a recent order by CMES of six, small-bore, seven-cylinder 21/31DF-M GenSets for two 9,300 ceu pure car truck carriers. Both vessels will be powered by MAN B&W ME-LGIM main engines.

MAN Energy Solutions’ Head of Two-Stroke Business, Bjarne Foldager, commented: “This is a unique project that represents the first such methanol-burning engine within this particular marine segment and which comes from a major VLCC fleet owner. Taking this, and its recent dual-fuel business with us into account, CMES is definitively a first mover to methanol, which we expect will figure prominently as a future fuel across all vessel segments.”

Thomas S. Hansen, the engine company’s Head of Promotion and Customer Support, declared: “Switching to low-carbon fuel is the most effective way to decarbonise the existing maritime fleet and we are currently experiencing an increased interest in methanol-powered engines. In tune with this, we recently expanded our methanol portfolio such that its power range now covers all large merchant-marine vessel applications, including VLCCs. The over 150 ME-LGIM engines ordered and more than 450,000 running hours on methanol already recorded at sea show how capable our concept is.”

The ME-LGIM (liquid gas injection methanol) dual-fuel engine is based on the engine firm’s ME series of which about 8,500 engines are in service. Working on the Diesel principle, the engine offers carbon-neutral propulsion when operation on green methanol.