Oslo-listed BW LPG, the world’s leading owner and operator of LPG vessels, announced on 16 December 2020 that it will retrofit a further three MAN B&W 6G60ME-C9.2 type engines to MAN B&W 6G60ME-C9.5-LGIP dual-fuel types, capable of operating on fuel oil and LPG.
This is another option of a 4+4+4+3 contract with MAN PrimeServ – MAN Energy Solutions’ after-sales division.
MAN Energy Solutions announced the first four retrofit orders in September 2018 in advance of the official launch of the ME-LGIP engine at its Research Centre Copenhagen, and exchanged the contract publically with BW LPG during the event.
Two +4 options were subsequently confirmed with this new +3 option making a total of 15 vessels for ME-LGIP retrofits.
The confirmation of the latest option follows on the heels of the successful ME-LGIP conversion in late-October 2020 of the main engine aboard BW LPG’s LPG carrier, ‘BW Gemini’ making it the world’s first commercial vessel to be propelled by a two-stroke LPG dual-fuel engine.
BW LPG has previously commented on its choice of retrofits over newbuildings where Pontus Berg, Executive Vice President, Technical and Operations, LPG, said:
“Retrofitting allows us to minimise our carbon footprint – the process emits up to 97% less carbon dioxide compared to a newbuilding construction. Retrofitting also means that we do not add additional tonnage that the world does not need. In addition, BW LPG’s fleet is already widely recognised amongst charterers for its efficiency, and so retrofitting its vessels to dual-fuel LPG would help to further reinforce the company’s strong reputation in this area.”
Apart from the 15 retrofits for BW LPG, three new orders in November bring the current total of newbuilding orders for the ME-LGIP engine up to 51 – a number expected to significantly increase in December 2020.
The vast majority of current orders for LPG carriers over 30,000 cubic metres are with ME-LGIP technology, enabling these vessels to use their own cargo as fuel in the future. LPG as a low-carbon fuel on its way to becoming the new market standard in this segment.