ME-GI Order Kickstarts New Era of Propulsion

Breaking News, Marine Equipment Products and Services, Shipbuilding and Shipyards — By on December 5, 2012 at 3:34 PM

Rendering of new TOTE ship (Source: General Dynamics NASSCO)

Low-speed engine paves way for fuel flexibility

MAN Diesel & Turbo has confirmed the first order for its low-speed, dual-fuel ME-GI engine. American shipping company, TOTE, has signed a contract with its compatriot shipyard NASSCO in San Diego for the construction of two new state-of-the-art containerships with an option for three more vessels for primarily domestic services. The vessels will each be powered by 8L70ME-GI dual-fuel gas-powered engines.

The two 3, 100 TEU vessels will be the most environmentally friendly containerships in the world, powered primarily by liquefied natural gas (LNG). The first two ships will be operating between Florida and Puerto Rico. The ship design will allow the transport of conceivable products. The maritime shipping trade is an essential part of sustained economic development for Puerto Rico and these vessels will provide the most modern, environmentally friendly and reliable service available. The ships will be built by NASSCO shipyard in San Diego and designed by Korean DSEC, which is part of Daewoo Shipbuilding & Marine Engineering (DSME). Construction for the first containership is scheduled to begin in the first quarter of 2014, with delivery to occur by the fourth quarter of 2015; the second ship will be delivered in the first quarter of 2016.

Ole Grøne, Senior Vice President Low-Speed Sales and Promotions, MAN Diesel & Turbo, said: “Our experience with two-stroke, dual-fuel engines stretches back to the 1990s. With the current developments in fuel prices and multiple customer requests for a solution, the momentum towards the development of a commercial, low-speed dual-fuel engine became unstoppable. We see this order as a natural culmination, and see the ME-GI as the beginning of a significant new era.”

The ME-GI engine

Unveiled at a major event at MAN Diesel & Turbo’s Copenhagen Diesel Research Centre in May 2011, the ME-GI engine represents the culmination of many years’ work that began in the 1990s with the company’s prototype MC-GI dual-fuel engine that entered service at a power plant in Chiba, near Tokyo, Japan in 1994.

Depending on relative price and availability, as well as environmental considerations, the ME-GI engine gives shipowners and operators the option of using either HFO or gas – predominantly natural gas but also, eventually, LPG. MAN Diesel & Turbo sees significant opportunities arising for gas-fuelled tonnage as fuel prices rise and modern exhaust-emission limits tighten. Indeed, previous research indicates that the ME-GI engine delivers significant reductions in CO2, NOx and SOx emissions. Furthermore, the ME-GI engine has no methane slip, and it is therefore the most environmental friendly technology available. MAN Diesel & Turbo predicts a broad, potential market for its ME-GI engine, extending from LNG and LPG carriers to other oceangoing vessel segments such as containerships as well as ships plying a fixed trade. As such, the ME-GI engine represents a highly efficient, flexible, propulsion-plant solution.

About TOTE Inc.

TOTE Inc. is one of the United States leading marine transportation companies. TOTE Inc.’s maritime subsidiaries include TOTE Shipholdings Inc., Totem Ocean Trailer Express and Sea Star Line, which provide regular marine transportation for general cargo between the continental United States and Alaska and Puerto Rico. TOTE Inc. is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Saltchuk Resources, Inc., a family owned, Seattle-based holding company of freight transportation and petroleum distribution companies.

About NASSCO

Part of the General Dynamics Corporation – the United States aerospace and defense company – NASSCO has designed and built ships in San Diego’s industrial corridor since 1960 and has locations on both the U.S. west and east coasts. The company specialises in the design, construction and repair of auxiliary and support ships for the U.S. Navy, as well as oil tankers and dry cargo carriers for commercial markets.

Vessel Technical Specifications Principal Characteristics

  • Length Overall: 764 ft.
  • Breadth: . 106 ft. (Panamax)
  • Depth: 60 ft. Draft: 34 ft. Speed: 22.0 kts
  • Propulsion Plant Main Engine Type: Dual Fuel Slow Speed (x1) Main Engine Model: MAN 8L70ME-C8.2-Gl Main Engine MCR: 25, 191 kW x 104.0 rpm Main Engine NCR: 21, 412 kW x 98.5 rpm Aux Engine Type: Dual Fuel Medium Speed (x3)

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