Mitsui Engineering & Shipbuilding has finished building the world’s first methanol-burned, dual-fuelled, low-speed, diesel main engine that will be installed on Mitsui OSK Lines‘ (MOL) new methanol carrier.
The engine will be deployed in one of MOL’s vessels that is currently being built by Japan-based Minaminippon Shipbuilding.
Mitsui Engineering, which produces the engines under licence from Man Diesel & Turbo, has also confirmed that the engine meets expected performance after completing test operations using methanol fuel in Tamano Works.
The vessels are expected to be delivered next year and will be deployed to serve Waterfront Shipping Company under a long-term charter contract.
Man Diesel & Turbo low-speed promotion and sales senior vice-president Ole Grøne was quoted by Motorship as saying: "The interest in our ME-LGI engine confirms this dual-fuel, low-speed trend and will offer even more alternatives to heavy-fuel oil, which, apart from methanol, will include LPG, dimethyl ether (DME), and (bio) ethanol, as well as several other low-sulphur, low-flashpoint fuels."
The new diesel main engine will allow Mitsui vessels to significantly reduce carbon dioxide and nitrogen oxide emissions.
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According to MOL, despite using menthol to power the engine, the new vessel will be equipped with a ballast water treatment system and energy saving devices in the front and behind the propellers, to enhance fuel efficiency.
In April, MOL signed a contract with Minaminippon Shipbuilding to build four next-generation car carriers.
Named Flexie series, the new 199.95m-long and 32.2m-wide vessels will be equipped with an electronically controlled diesel engine with low-load optimisation (LLO) tuning by exhaust gas bypass (EGB) technology.