By Oscar Kallerdahl, Business Development and Sales Manager LNG Systems, Rolls-Royce
LNG will be the marine fuel of choice, and the pure gas engine the dominant technology within the next 5 years, Systems. The IMO Marine Environment Protection Committee (MEPC) decision to develop a comprehensive road map for addressing CO2 emissions, with initial reduction commitments to be agreed by 2018, places an intense focus on emissions and fuel selection.
Norway was the first to introduce LNG as a marine fuel and has supported its development. Rolls-Royce LNG expertise has developed in tandem. The company’s first marine LNG engine entered service with ferry company Fjord1 ten years ago.
The company’s latest lean-burn, pure gas Bergen medium-speed engine has benefi tted from 25 years operational experience on land or at sea, and accumulated over 23 million running hours. Compared to a diesel engine, with LNG fuel consumption and emissions are much lower.
Total greenhouse gas emissions are about 22 per cent lower, even including the e ects of methane slip. There are fewer CO2 emissions per unit of power and Nitrogen Oxide (NOx) emissions are reduced by 90 per cent. Sulphur Oxide (SOx) emissions are negligible. In addition, clean, safe engine rooms and advanced technology reduce maintenance costs and provide a more pleasant working environment for the crew.
Operational cost savings can also be achieved from burning gas, since the engine turns about 50 per cent of the energy in the fuel into power at the flywheel. The engines’ lean burn combustion technology is also very robust and ensures they can operate on a wide range of gas qualities. With the widespread development of LNG bunkering facilities taking place in Europe, China, India, Australia, Singapore and the U.S, the age of LNG-fuelled intercontinental shipping is almost upon us.