MAN Diesel & Turbo recently announced the formal conclusion of Wes Amelie LNG conversion project.

Gerd Wessels said: “This pioneering project marks a milestone in the European container feeder market, and MAN has proven that existing engines can be converted to LNG operation with a tremendous effect on exhaust emissions and the environment.”

The project involved the retrofitting of the 1,036TEU feeder container ship’s MAN 8L48/60B main engine to a multi-fuel, four-stroke MAN 51/60DF unit that enables dual-fuel operation, the first such conversion of its type the world has ever seen.

Christian Hoepfner, General Manager of Wessels Reederei, said: “Wes Amelie operates in the highly regulated Nordic and Baltic Seas. Since they are both within Emission Control Areas, the ship needs to meet the highest environmental standards and strictest limits for emissions.

“By converting to a low emission fuel, we are safeguarding the future of this container ship as well as our own competitiveness in the market.”

There are roughly 40,000 cargo vessels in operation worldwide and they need to be converted to more cleaner operation.

The dual-fuel conversion has enabled the ‘Wes Amelie’ to significantly reduce its SOx emissions by 20 per cent. The vessel now meets both the Tier II and Tier III emission requirements set by the International Maritime Organisation (IMO).

Works were carried out at German Dry Docks in Bremerhaven in cooperation with gas-specialist, TGE Marine Engineering, who provided tank and LNG components. Bureau Veritas, the international classification society based in France, classed the conversion.

Wessels and MAN Diesel & Turbo originally signed the retrofit contract with MAN Diesel & Turbo at the Europort exhibition for maritime technology in November 2015. Wes Amelie was constructed in 2011 and has already re-entered service on its usual route between the North and Baltic Seas.