MOL‘s Test on Low-speed Methanol Engine has met the expectations

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Demonstrating the first commercially built MAN liquid-gas injection engine running on methanol at Mitsui’s Tamano works

Mitsui OSK Lines (MOL) has announced that the first low-speed engine running on methanol has met the expectations during a test run at Mitsui’s factory in Tamano.  The low-speed engine has been jointly built by MAN Diesel & Turbo licensee Mitsui Engineering & Shipbuilding Company.  Reports state that in March, 2015 MAN had already ventured into the demonstration of its methanol dual-fuel engine, which used a commercially built 7S50ME-B9.3-LGI engine.

Japanese Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism, supported the evaluative study based on the engine’s safety and methanol supply system.  Nippon Kaiji Kyokai, known as ClassNK, a ship classification society also joined hands in this research project.          

Ole Grøne, Senior Vice President – Low Speed Promotion & Sales at MAN Diesel & Turbo said: “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.”

He also welcomed their partners’ interest in their technology and acknowledged their lead in providing the ME-LGI concept.  He also emphasized that their faith will be rewarded in the near future.   

The demonstration which involved four stages was held before 60 guests.  The four steps of the process are as follows:

  • Switching from fuel oil to methanol
  • Running at between 50-75% load on methanol fuel
  • Running under varied load on methanol
  • Switching back to running on fuel oil

In March, Minaminippon was one among the guests present at the first demonstration of MAN’s methanol-fuelled engine.  During that period, it was reported by MAN that it had already received seven orders for such engines from Mitsui OSK Lines, Marinvest and Westfal-Larsen.

It is also said that the vessels wouldn’t be the first methanol-powered ships in operation, as the Stena Germanica has recently completed its conversion to methanol-burning Wartsila 6ZAL40S dual-fuel medium-speed engines.

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