Wärtsilä has now been contracted to supply Wärtsilä 50DF dual-fuel propulsion engines to 100 Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) Carrier vessels.
This notable milestone was recently passed with the supply of a LNG carrier in a South Korean shipyard. The 100 LNG Carriers represent approximately one quarter of the current global fleet.
Wärtsilä's advanced dual-fuel technology was first launched in the early 1990s for use in land-based power plant applications. The first marine installation of the 50DF engine came a decade later. The technology enables the engine to be operated on either natural gas, light fuel oil (LFO), or heavy fuel oil (HFO), and switching between fuels can take place seamlessly during operation, without loss of power or speed. This ensures safety and continuous installation operability. The Wärtsilä 50DF engine is designed to have the same output regardless of the fuel used.
The fitting of Wärtsilä 50DF engines onboard the first LNG Carriers in 2006 set a trend in the industry. Since that introduction, 65 percent of all new LNG Carriers have been fitted with Wärtsilä dual-fuel engines. One of the reasons for the strong success of this particular engine over the alternatives is its superior propulsion efficiency. The clear environmental advantages that operating on gas allows, is another factor in the success of this technology. When operating in gas mode, the nitrogen oxide (NOx) emissions are at least 85 percent below those specified in the current IMO regulations, and CO2 emissions are some 25 percent less than those of a conventional marine engine running on diesel fuel. Additionally, the sulphur oxide (SOx) and particle emissions are negligible at almost zero percent.
"This is indeed an important milestone for Wärtsilä, and for the shipping industry as a whole. It confirms not only our leading position in the LNG transportation sector, but also the viability of Wärtsilä dual-fuel engines. They have demonstrated that they are a solid and reliable choice for owners and operators, enabling easy adaptation to different sailing patterns, in both arctic and tropical conditions, and to various operational profiles," says Lars Anderson, Vice President, Wärtsilä Ship Power, Merchant.