The maritime industry is always changing, evolving to meet the demands from global trade. The only constant is the need for safer and more efficient ways to connect world markets. This need is converging with one of the most pressing issues of our time – climate change. What can we do, and how?
Pioneering the technology needed for LPG dual-fuel propulsion
As the world’s largest owner and operator of Very Large Gas Carriers, we looked at the heart of our business and our vessels. What if we could deliver cleaner energy to world markets, through cleaner means of propulsion? What if we could power our vessels with LPG? How can we do so when marine engines that can be powered by LPG does not exist?
By building on available technology. By investing in R&D, contributing resources and technical expertise in partnership with the world’s leading engine manufacturers. Together, we pioneered the world’s first dual-fuel LPG propulsion engine, which can seamlessly switch between LPG and conventional fuels.
How it Works
First, LPG tanks are filled using the cargo system during loading. LPG is drawn from these tanks into a fuel gas supply system and piped to the engine.
A small amount of compliant pilot fuel, such as diesel, is injected into the engine as the piston nears the top. It sparks under pressure, and LPG burns to create propulsive force.
Benefits of LPG Propulsion
These world’s first LPG dual-fuel engines will reduce emissions of Sulfur Oxides (~97%), Particulate Matters (~90%), Carbon Dioxide (~25%) and Nitrous Oxides (~20%). This means that vessels powered by LPG will be in full compliance with current and future SOx emission requirements, including for Emission Control Areas (ECAs) and Sulfur Emission Control Areas (SECAs).
LPG propulsion also offer efficiency gains on many fronts. Output efficiencies will improve by ~11 percent with LPG when compared with compliant fuels. This means that we capture significant improvements in total voyage fuel economics. Other efficiencies include easy storage, faster refueling and wide availability of bunkering ships and facilities. Bunkering can be done directly at load terminal or via ship-to-ship transfer from smaller LPG carrier. With LPG, we eliminate bunker quality issues and spill risks.
And with dual-fuel capability, these engines provide fuel flexibility which translates to full redundancy to ensure uninterrupted operations, and buffering from fuel price sensitivities.
A Stepping Stone to More
Where does this technology take us? From here, to a zero-carbon future.
BW LPG is taking the lead and advancing technology towards zero-carbon fuel propulsion. We will continue to evolve to meet the needs of global trade, and offer safer, more efficient and environmentally friendly vessels, to deliver cleaner energy to world markets.
Powered by LPG, these vessels will propel us towards a Better World.