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.
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. In my view, LPG as a low-carbon fuel is well on its way to becoming the new market standard in this segment.”
With LPG as a marine fuel, the BW Gemini’s output efficiencies rise by around 10% against fuel oil, which will in turn generate notable gains in total voyage fuel-economics. This, along with other advantages, secures LPG’s position as a long-term, sustainable marine fuel.
Cost-wise, LPG is also a better option than compliant fuel oil, with high lifetime-savings prospects. By leveraging LPG as a marine fuel, BW LPG’s 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. Furthermore, the ability to use LPG cargo as a supplemental fuel source also reduces time and fees for fuel bunkering.