[Interview] Mr. Kjeld Aabo, Talks About The Future Of MAN B&W Engines And LNG As Fuel.



Mr. Kjeld Aabo – Talks About The Future Of MAN B&W Engines And LNG As Fuel.

In an exclusive interview with MFAME team, Mr. Kjeld Aabo talks about his experiences, the future of MAN B&W engines and LNG as fuel.

 About- Mr. Kjeld Aabo – Speed Read:

  • The face of MAN B&W engines,
  • Famous Maritime personality who is well known for his expertise in the International Bunker and Marine Engine Circles,
  • With his strong technical foot hold – he has been the Chairman of the CIMAC committee for several years,
  • A spokesman in the R&D areas of MAN B&W engines.


Q1. LNG is becoming more and more popular.  MAN has announced an engine intended for running on LNG and marine fuels.  Can you say something about this engine? What are its capabilities, range and how is this going to help the speeding up of LNG as a marine fuel?

Presently,we have one hundred and fifty 2-stroke ME ( GI/ LGI ) engines on order for LNG carriers, Container vessels, LPG carriers, and RO-RO, primarily to be fuelled with LNG, but we have also orders for Methanol and Ethane.  The ME-GI / LGI engines are based on the Diesel principle and is a Diesel engine which can also operate on Gas / alcohols etc.  Maintaining the diesel principle and not OTTO gives us the same power output and same or slightly improved efficiency, no methane slip or restrictions in gas quality.


Q2. What are the problems and benefits you envisage in using these engine in case a vessel owner wants to retrofit?

The ME/C engines are already GI/LGI ready” because only the top of the cylinders are to be modified with gas valve control and double wall piping for the gas supply.  It is therefore very interesting for retrofitting as the order for the conversion to gas for two ME engines at an LNG vessel for Nakilat.

Regarding Gas ancillary systems (external to the engines) and  new buildings, we see more and more owners asking the yard to make space for a later installation of fuel gas supply systems and the tanks.

Q3. What is your opinion on the LNG availability and pricing that will make it attractive in the long term for the industry.

We have not a saying about the prices of LNG. It depends on the availability now and in the future, the area to operate and the operation of the vessel in question. We are convinced that more bunker stations and terminals will increase the interest of using LNG as an alternative to HFO/ GO. Very important is also the emission regulation considerations, where the use of gas will be supported by the industry and authorities.

Q4. What are your views of MTBO (Mean Time Between Overhauls) for MAN LNG engines?


The extra gas injection valves need to be overhauled and the gas valve block and double wall pipes that is all and will not make a significant difference for the operator in time nor in cost.

Q5. What is your forecast for use of LNG as a marine fuel? What percentage of the marine fuel market is LNG likely to occupy and over what period of time?

Our forecast is up to 15% of new projects can have engines which can be fuelled with Methane and other alternative fuels from 2020, depending on many factors with price, emission and supply logistic being the most important.

Q6. What are the problems you foresee in speeding up the usage of LNG such as regulatory, objections from port, safety issues, logistics?

I do not see an issue that will not be handled in short time.  In the last few years the authorities and classification societies have worked on the regulations and with some vessels already are operating 10 + years on LNG.  The experience is gained and more will come fast with the order backlog.

Q7. Since you have in-depth knowledge on existing heavy and distillate fuels and also LNG fuels, how do you see the industry progress? What would be your message to the industry?

Be aware of the alternative fuels as LNG and the opportunity to operate with alternative fuels.

Q8. You have been going around the world representing MAN B&W in various forums including a recent stint in Brazil.  Would you like to comment on your experiences?

My experience from my stay in Brazil for three and a half years, has shown me how important direct contact to customers really is and how important it is to be able to differentiate and tailor make to the individual customer’s need.  Customers being shipowners, yards, ship design institutes and Engine builders.  

Q9. Would you like to say anything about your family, your hobbies and your other interests?

Both me and my family enjoy living in Brazil and if you are a big fan of nature, Brazil is the place to be.


We thank Mr. Kjeld Aabo for his time and interesting insights on LNG & MAN B&W ME- GI / LGI engines.


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