US-based shipping line Matson will convert the main engine on its container ship, Kaimana Hila, to a dual-fuel ME-GI engine capable of running on liquefied natural gas (LNG).

This follows an option contained in a contract signed with MAN in June 2022 to perform an identical conversion on a sister ship, Daniel K. Inouye.

The retrofit of Kaimana Hila, an Aloha class 3,600 TEU Jones Act-compliant vessel built in 2019, will be performed by MAN PrimeServ, MAN Energy Solutions’ after-sales division. Kaimana Hila is currently fitted with a MAN B&W S90ME-C10.5 engine.

The retrofit is a part of a growing trend among ship owners to choose dual-fuel retrofits for their existing vessels in service to achieve fleet-transformation goals while simultaneously gaining benefits in terms of upcoming regulations such as Carbon Intensity Indicator (CII) and Energy Efficiency Existing Ship Index (EEXI).

Retrofitting a MAN B&W engine to dual-fuel running is straightforward, as the company’s standard, electronically-controlled diesel engines are constructed as ‘dual-fuel ready’ and are therefore readily retrofittable, offering a viable pathway to shipowners who wish to achieve a net-zero carbon footprint by 2050.

This will be the third vessel Matson is retrofitting with dual-fuel LNG capability. Each retrofit is a meaningful step toward achieving sustainability goals to achieve a 40% reduction in Scope 1 greenhouse gas fleet emissions by 2030 and net-zero Scope 1 GHG emissions by 2050.

Matson recently announced the construction of three LNG-powered newbuilds that will also be driven by ME-GI engines.

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