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World's first LPG-fueled VLGC completes sea trials

World's first LPG-fueled VLGC completes sea trials

Sea trials have been completed by the world's first very large gas carrier (VLGC) to operate on liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) dual-fuel propulsion technology.


The expert team from engine manufacturer MAN Energy Solutions, BW LPG's Newbuilding & Projects and Technical Departments, and classification company DNV-GL, which awarded the appropriate certificate of classification, checked BW Gemini and its newly retrofitted LPG propulsion technology to their safe limits. Gas and sea trials began on October 20 and took approximately seven days, with intermittent delays caused by bad weather in offshore Hong Kong waters.

The main engine aboard the 2015-built BW Gemini was retrofitted earlier this year from a MAN B&W 6G60ME-C9.2 type to a dual-fuel MAN B&W 6G60ME-LGIP type capable of operating on both LPG and traditional fuel oil.

The ship was also equipped with an LPG fuel supply system from Wärtsilä. Wärtsilä said its scope of work included the engineering of the system, the ship design for the conversion project, the pumps and fuel system of two 930 m3 fuel tanks, the pump skids and the cargo handling system.

“LPG is powering this vessel while protecting the environment, and we look forward to demonstrating its benefits to the industry as shipping prepares for a future with zero-carbon propulsion,” commented Pontus Berg, BW LPG Executive Vice President, Technical and Operation.

The vessel will sail on full LPG propulsion across the Pacific Ocean in another historic first, to Enterprise Port in Houston , Texas, for boarding, now fitted with a main engine capable of running on LPG and converting to conventional fuel seamlessly. Compared to compliant fuels, her voyage is expected to produce 20 percent less greenhouse gas emissions and use 10 percent less fuel, demonstrating the benefits to the industry of LPG propulsion.

The BW Gemini is the first of several BW LPG carriers to be retrofitted for LPG propulsion with a 225-meter-long, 84,134-cubic-meter capacity. The shipowner, part of the BW Group, has committed to upgrading the dual-fuel LPG engines of at least 12 of its VLGCs by 2020 and 2021. BW Leo, BW Libra, BW Orion, BW Balder, BW Njord, BW Var, BW Tucana, BW Brage, BW Volans, BW Freyja and BW Frigg are the vessels slated to be converted.

Maritime Business World 

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