Wärtsilä to participate in LNG-powered dry bulk carrier project

Wärtsilä is to team up with an international group of shipping industry companies and organizations in a project to develop a concept for equipping future dry bulk carrier vessels with LNG propulsion.

Project Forward is led by Athens-based Arista Shipping. It began officially in May 2015 with the aim of developing a commercially feasible LNG-powered dry bulk carrier design capable of complying with the International Maritime Organization’s (IMO) Energy Efficiency Design Index 2025 standards, as well as with all relevant emission reduction regulations. In addition to Arista Shipping, the other parties involved in the project are Finnish ship designer Deltamarin, the Houston-based classification society American Bureau of Shipping and GTT, the French LNG membrane containment system designer.

The Wärtsilä 31DF dual-fuel engine is likely to form the basis of the concept’s propulsion system. Introduced in June 2015, the Wärtsilä 31 has been recognized by Guinness World Records as being the world’s most efficient four-stroke diesel engine. The DF version allows the use of either LNG or conventional marine fuel oils. While two-stroke engines are the conventional choice for vessels of this type, the supreme efficiency of the Wärtsilä 31 engine makes it a competitive and viable alternative option.

“Wärtsilä has been selected to participate in this important project because of our depth of experience in LNG propulsion solutions, our strong position in four-stroke engine technology, and in particular because of the state-of-the-art Wärtsilä 31 engine. This engine has not only taken efficiency to a new benchmark level, but in gas-mode is IMO Tier III compliant without the need for any exhaust cleaning systems. We are proud to be a part of this future-looking project, which could eventually be applied equally well to other types and sizes of merchant vessel,” says Aaron Bresnahan, Vice President, Sales, Wärtsilä Marine Solutions.

“Project Forward aims to become a milestone for the shipping industry and in particular for owners and operators of cargo ships. Owners must decide within the next five to 10 years whether gas as fuel is a practical means of compliance with lower emissions standards and this project will enable all of us to understand its feasibility. We welcome Wärtsilä’s involvement, as it is a company with great experience in this field,” says Arista Shipping Principal, Alexander P. Panagopulos.

The project is to be presented as a topic at the Posidonia 2016 conference and exhibition, to be held in Athens, Greece Monday-Friday, June 6-10.

Maritime Editorial