Wärtsilä’s 50DF marine engine has been successfully tested and certified to use ethane (LEG) as fuel.
The testing programme was carried out by Wärtsilä in partnership with Evergas, the seaborne transporter of petrochemical gases and natural gas liquids.
With this development, Wärtsilä customers will be able to meet the International Maritime Organization’s (IMO) Tier III regulations on secondary emissions cleaning when using either liquefied natural gas (LNG) or LEG as fuel.
Wärtsilä ship power engine sales vice-president Lars Anderson said: "The option to utilise ethane gas as a marine fuel further extends the fuel flexibility of our DF engine portfolio.
"It also provides yet another option to achieve compliance with the IMO’s stringent Tier III legislation."
The capacity to burn ethane boil-off gas as engine fuel will enable the vessel to reduce the need for gas re-liquefaction during the voyage. This will result in lower power consumption for the cargo-handling and an efficient and environmentally sound system.
Evergas CEO Steffen Jacobsen said: "It increases our operational efficiency and improves flexibility in the bunkering of fuels.
"It also enables us to offer our customers increased flexibility, which has a monetary value to them."
According to Wärtsilä, the 50DF marine engine will be capable of switching between LNG, LEG, light fuel oil (LFO) or heavy-fuel oil (HFO) without any modifications to hardware and interrupted operation.
Image: Wärtsilä 50DF engine will now be able to run on ethane (LEG) fuel. Photo: courtesy of Wärtsilä.