Wärtsilä to Launch Two-stroke Future Fuels Conversion Platform
Finnish technology group Wärtsilä said it is set to launch a new engine combustion technology platform designed to enable the "fast and cost-effective" conversion of two-stroke main engines to operate on clean-burning future fuels.
The company's Two-Stroke Future Fuels Conversion platform is due for commercial launch during the first quarter of 2022, as the maritime industry continues to work toward decarbonized shipping operations.
The retrofit conversion will initially enable operation with liquefied natural gas (LNG) fuel, with negligible methane slip from the engine, Wärtsilä said, noting the modular design provides a platform that will be further developed in order to allow for the adoption of alternative green fuels or fuel blends when they become commercially available.
Roger Holm, President Marine Power & EVP Wärtsilä Corporation, said, “Wärtsilä has taken a leading position in the development and delivery of smart technology solutions that will accelerate the realization of our industry’s decarbonization ambitions. This pioneering conversion solution is one more prime example of our capabilities and commitment. Its flexibility means that the first step towards adopting the use of future fuels can be taken now knowing that the investment will not become obsolete. The benefits, both economic and environmental, are significant.”
The development program has recently been concluded with successful initial engine tests in the Wärtsilä two-stroke engine laboratory in Trieste. MSC Shipmanagement has collaborated with Wärtsilä throughout the development as a key partner in the piloting and advancement of the platform towards future fuel applications. Representatives from MSC were in attendance during some of the testing procedures.
Prabhat Jha, CEO & Group Managing Director MSC Shipmanagement, said, “We have been following the development of this innovative conversion solution with high interest and we regard it as a supporting element in MSC’s journey towards net zero decarbonization by 2050. Together with Wärtsilä we have high expectations for the next steps of this initiative, which starts with technology demonstration on one of our larger container vessels with a Wärtsilä RT-flex96C-B main engine, and which will continue to make our existing fleet ready to meet future emissions needs,”
A world-first feature of the concept is the cryogenic fuel supply system, which together with a revolutionary injection system, provides flexible and optimized operational performance under all conditions, Wärtsilä said. Among the other notable benefits delivered by this future-proofing solution are the capability to comply with upcoming environmental regulations and therefore providing assets with an extended operational life.
The conversion solution is aimed at vessels operating with two-stroke, electronically controlled engines. The concept can be complemented with Wärtsilä’s Fuel Gas Supply System to provide a complete turnkey solution.
The first commercial conversion project will be completed by mid-2023. The conversion concept is applicable to both large- and smaller bore engine types.