Wärtsilä has launched a new version of its Wärtsilä 31DF engine, which can reduce methane emission by more than 50% in certain load conditions and by 41% on a weighted average basis compared with earlier 31DF units. The technology group claims that the dual-fuel engine range already has the lowest methane emission levels on the market.
The new version can reduce methane emissions by up to 56% when operating at a 50% engine load. Nitrogen oxide emissions can be slashed by up to 86%, the company said.
The latest 31DF engine has been tested as one of four units on board Wasaline’s Aurora Botnia, a RoPax ferry. In tests that formed part of the EU co-funded Green Ray and SeaTech projects, the ship’s methane emissions were down by 10%. The results were independently verified in December 2022 by VTT, the Technical Research Centre of Finland. Now, the latest version of the Wärtsilä 31DF engine has been launched on the commercial market.
The eight-year-old engine range is recognised for its economy, performance, and greenhouse gas emission profile and already meets today’s regulatory requirements. However, as methane slip becomes a more pressing challenge relating to the role of LNG-fuelled engines in the energy transition, regulations are tightening. The new version will enable operators to go even further in reducing methane emissions, helping to future-proof their vessels in the longer term, Wärtsilä said.
Wasaline managing director, Peter Ståhlberg, commented: “We are very committed to decarbonisation, and we have worked closely with Wärtsilä to make sustainable shipping a reality. It is a goal-oriented partnership that benefits both the companies and the entire industry. We have been pleased to allow the Aurora Botnia to be utilised as a floating laboratory, and we are excited to see the success of this latest Wärtsilä technology breakthrough.”
Stefan Nysjö, vice president of Power Supply at Wärtsilä Marine Power, said: “Our workaround reducing methane slip and GHG emissions is part of Wärtsilä’s effort to continuously improve efficiency and reduce emissions of our products, and this new innovation is one more very important step along the road to decarbonisation.
“The building of an LNG fuel infrastructure has been an important factor in shipping’s transition towards cleaner operations,” he continued, “and Wärtsilä continues to create solutions that support this journey. Our focus has always been to improve and optimise existing solutions and to develop exciting new ones. With this latest introduction, we are clearly delivering on this commitment.”