On 7 February 2023 the COSCO Shipping Heavy Industry (Guangdong) yard announced that it will retrofit the main engines aboard two LPG carriers from the fleet of Tianjin Southwest Maritime Ltd., the Chinese liquefied-gas carrier operator.
In doing so, it is exercising the option in a contract signed with MAN Energy Solutions’s after-sales division, MAN PrimeServ, in October 2022 to similarly retrofit two LPG carriers to dual-fuel operation.
Accordingly, the individual MAN B&W 6G60ME-C engines aboard vessels, Gas Libra and Gas Scorpio, will be retrofitted to dual-fuel MAN B&W 6G60ME-LGIP units capable of running on LPG, to which end they are scheduled to enter drydock in January 2024.
As with the previous two vessels, MAN PrimeServ will jointly carry out the work with CMS (CSSC Marine Service Co Ltd), the after-sales subsidiary of CSSC Marine Power Group.
Per Rud – Senior Vice President, MAN PrimeServ – said:
“It’s crucial to nurture partnerships to successfully pull off dual-fuel retrofit projects and we are very happy to collaborate with CMS on these – now – four vessel retrofits.
“Significantly, this will be our first time working with a licensee’s own after-sales division; the after-sales market should know that MAN PrimeServ is open to working with partners in order to support shipowners globally.
“Our negotiations with CMS have concluded to our mutual satisfaction and will strengthen our partnership.”
The taking up of the original contract’s option also follows Oslo-listed BW LPG – the world’s leading owner and operator of LPG vessels – announcement in June 2022 that it, under MAN PrimeServ’s supervision, had converted the main engine of the ‘BW Malacca’ to dual-fuel running.
The last such conversion for a series of 15 LPG carriers, all work was carried out at Yiu Lian Dockyards in Shenzhen, evidence of China’s ability to successfully execute such retrofits.
Cost-wise, LPG is a better option than compliant fuel-oil with high lifetime-savings prospects. By leveraging LPG as a marine fuel, vessels benefit from savings due to lower fuel consumption and full dual-fuel flexibility, which guards against price sensitivity to post-2020 fuel-price fluctuations.