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Wärtsilä to launch 2-stroke ‘future fuels’ conversion platform

19 November 2021

Wärtsilä announced it will commercially launch its Two-Stroke Future Fuels Conversion platform during the first quarter of 2022. This engine combustion technology platform will enable the conversion of two-stroke main engines to operate on gaseous fuels such as LNG.

The launch of the system is a major step in the maritime industry’s efforts to achieve decarbonized shipping operations—according to Wärtsilä—while the easy retrofitting will avoid owners having to face long off-hire charter time.

The retrofit conversion will initially enable operation with currently available LNG fuel, with ‘negligible’ methane slip from the engine. The modular design of this concept 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, Wärtsilä said.

Wärtsilä has completed successful initial engine tests of the conversion platform at their 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. The next step of the development program will be a technology demonstration on one of MSC larger container vessels with a Wärtsilä RT-flex96C-B main engine.

The conversion package is aimed at vessels operating with two-stroke, electronically controlled engines with both large- and smaller bores. A world-first feature of the concept is a cryogenic fuel supply system, which together with a new injection system provides flexible and optimized operational performance under all conditions, Wärtsilä said. The concept can be complemented with Wärtsilä’s Fuel Gas Supply System to provide a complete turnkey solution.

Wärtsilä has not provided technical details on the conversion technology, and did not specify what would constitute a ‘negligible’ methane emission level. In an earlier announcement on their future LNG engines, Wärtsilä said it was targeting a CH4 emission level of 1 g/kWh.

Methane emissions from lean burn Otto cycle engines with a diesel pilot can be as high as 10-40 g/kWh, depending on the air-to-fuel ratio and other factors. WinGD used EGR (dubbed Intelligent Control by Exhaust Recycling, iCER) to reduce methane slip from their X-DF low-pressure dual fuel engines. Methane slip levels of some 1-1.2 g/kWh were estimated for the WinGD X-DF2.0 technology.

Wärtsilä expects the first commercial conversion project to be completed by mid-2023.

Source: Wärtsilä