A Sea Change in Shipping

Pioneering the technology needed to propel large LPG carriers with cleaner-burning liquefied petroleum gas.

BW Gemini is the world's first Very Large Gas Carrier (VLGC) to be powered by liquefied petroleum gas or LPG.

Investing in technology that can combat climate change

The fundamental demands on shipping are changing. It is not just about shipping energy across world markets safely, more quickly and more efficiently. Increasingly, it is also about doing it more sustainably and responsibly. Climate change is real, and at BW LPG, we want to protect the environment for future generations by investing in technology that can reduce climate impact.

2020 marked the start of our project to retrofit 15 of our vessels with pioneering LPG dual-fuel propulsion technology, a project which began in early 2016 as part of our plans for a more sustainable and efficient ship design for the future. In collaboration with MAN ES, Wartsila, DNV and Isle of Man flag state, we pioneered the technology that allows us to use both conventional fuels and LPG – a cleaner marine fuel – to power our vessels.

Our commitment to retrofit 15 of our VLGCs with LPG dual-fuel propulsion engines represents an investment of over US$130 million. As of September 2021, nine of our VLGCs have been successfully retrofitted and are serving our customers. In 2021, three more vessels will be retrofitted, and the remaining three will be completed in 2022.

A sea change with BW Gemini

BW Gemini sailed on LPG propulsion across the Pacific Ocean in a historic first to Enterprise Terminal in Houston, Texas, for loading. Her voyage produced approximately 20% less greenhouse gas emissions compared to compliant fuels, and used 10% less fuel. As the vessel refuelled while loading and no additional bunkering was needed, she proceeded on her voyage immediately, with a record load of 49,000 metric tonnes of LPG. This quick turnaround translated to an increase in the vessel’s commercial availability for customers.

With BW Gemini, we have initiated a sea change in the shipping industry: a profound demonstration not just of LPG’s remarkable fuel savings and operational efficiencies, but also of our commitment to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and fight climate change in a tangible way.

BW Gemini is the world's first VLGC to cross the Pacific Ocean on LPG propulsion
BW Gemini was the world's first Very Large Gas Carrier (VLGC) to cross the Pacific Ocean on LPG propulsion.

Our journey towards zero-carbon shipping

Decarbonisation is one of the industry’s main challenges and a core commitment of BW LPG in the pursuit of sustainable development. To get from current limits of technology to a future where zero-carbon propulsion alternatives such as ammonia and hydrogen are mainstream options, significant advancements are needed.

One such advancement has been the ability to efficiently power large two-stroke dual-fuel engines, utilising the diesel cycle combustion process to burn propane or LPG.

BW LPG has taken the lead in advancing technology that will allow us to decarbonise and maximise the value of an asset with a 20-year lifespan as we prepare for zero-carbon solutions. This complements our commitment that by 2030, we will not have any newbuilding that cannot achieve net-zero emissions during its lifetime.

At BW LPG, we are on a journey to create zero-carbon shipping. Now, with LPG propelling our biggest carriers, we are well on our way.


Read More

– Read about LPG and its benefits at The World LPG Association.
– Read about the benefits of LPG propulsion.
-Read about why retrofitting of vessels makes sense.
– Read about our Sustainability Approach.

Topics: LPG propulsion, LPG market, liquefied petroleum gas trends, emissions reduction, carbon reduction, decarbonization, CSR, Sustainability, environmental protection, technology