Integrated solution of the alternative fuels conversion platform for two-stroke engines with the Wärtsilä Fuel Gas Supply system on a container vessel (Source:  Wärtsilä Corporation)

Wärtsilä to launch engine conversion platform early in 2022

Technology group, Wärtsilä, is to launch a two-stroke future fuels conversion platform during the first quarter of 2022. The platform will enable the operators of existing two-stroke main engines to convert them to burn clean-burning fuels in the future. The announcement follows successful tests with partner MSC Shipmanagement at the engine company’s two-stroke laboratory in Trieste.

Initially, retrofit conversions will enable two-stroke engines to switch to LNG fuel with negligible methane slip, Wärtsilä said, but the platform will evolve over time to enable the adoption of other fuels as they become commercially available. MSC has worked with the engine firm throughout the development process.

Conversions will be available for ships operating with two-stroke, electronically controlled engines and can be combined with Wärtsilä’s Fuel Gas Supply System to provide a turnkey setup, the company said. The cryogenic fuel supply system incorporates an injection system capable of providing flexibile and optimised operational performance under all conditions. The ability to comply with future environmental regulations, meanwhile, should extend the operating lives of assets. MSC Shipmanagement’s CEO and Group managing director, Prabhat Jha, commented: "We have been following the development of this innovative conversion solution with high interest. Together with Wärtsilä, we have high expectations for the next steps of this initiative, which starts with technology demonstration on one of our larger container vessels with a Wärtsilä RT-flex96C-B main engine, and which will continue to make our existing fleet ready to meet future emissions needs."

This engine is a two-stroke turbocharged diesel unit. It was originally designed for large container ships running on heavy fuel oil and was first deployed on the Emma Maersk in 2006. Roger Holm, president Marine Power and EVP Wärtsilä Corporation, said: "This pioneering conversion solution is one more prime example of our capabilities and commitment. Its flexibility means that the first step towards adopting the use of future fuels can be taken now, knowing that the investment will not become obsolete. The benefits, both economic and environmental, are significant."

The first commercial conversion project will be completed by mid-2023. The conversion concept is applicable to both large- and smaller bore engine types.

Article Editorial staff Ship&Offshore
Article Editorial staff Ship&Offshore