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Wärtsilä to launch Two-Stroke Future Fuels conversion solution in 2022

Finland-headed marine and energy engineering and technology major Wärtsilä Oyj has announced that it will commercially launch its Two-Stroke Future Fuels Conversion platform during the first quarter of 2022. This innovative and patented engine combustion technology platform will enable the fast and cost-effective conversion of two-stroke main engines to operate on "clean-burning future fuels."

An integrated solution of Wärtsilä Alternative Fuels Conversion platform for two-stroke engines with Wärtsilä Fuel Gas Supply system in a container vessel (image courtesy Wärtsilä).

According to a statement, this is seen as a major step in the maritime industry’s efforts to achieve decarbonized shipping operations, while the easy retrofitting will avoid owners having to face long off-hire charter time.

The retrofit conversion will initially enable operation with currently available liquefied natural gas (LNG) fuel, most importantly with negligible methane slip from the engine.

The modular design of this concept provides a platform that will be further developed in order to allow for the adoption of alternative green fuels or fuel blends when they become commercially available.

The development program has recently been concluded with successful initial engine tests in the Wärtsilä two-stroke engine laboratory in Trieste, Italy.

Wärtsilä has taken a leading position in the development and delivery of smart technology solutions that will accelerate the realization of our industry’s decarbonization ambitions. This pioneering conversion solution is one more prime example of our capabilities and commitment. Its flexibility means that the first step towards adopting the use of future fuels can be taken now knowing that the investment will not become obsolete. The benefits, both economic and environmental, are significant, said Roger Holm, President Wärtsilä Marine Power and EVP Wärtsilä.

MSC Shipmanagement has collaborated with Wärtsilä throughout the development as a key partner in the piloting and advancement of the platform towards future fuel applications.

Representatives from MSC were in attendance during some of the testing procedures.

We have been following the development of this innovative conversion solution with high interest and we regard it as a supporting element in MSC’s journey towards net-zero decarbonization by 2050. Together with Wärtsilä, we have high expectations for the next steps of this initiative, which starts with technology demonstration on one of our larger container vessels with a Wärtsilä RT-flex96C-B main engine, and which will continue to make our existing fleet ready to meet future emissions needs, said Prabhat Jha, CEO and Group Managing Director MSC Shipmanagement.

Cryogenic fuel supply

A world-first feature of the concept is the cryogenic fuel supply system, which together with a revolutionary injection system, provides flexible and optimized operational performance under all conditions.

Among the other notable benefits delivered by this future-proofing solution are the capability to comply with upcoming environmental regulations and therefore providing assets with an extended operational life.

The conversion solution is aimed at vessels operating with a two-stroke, electronically controlled engine. The concept can be complemented with Wärtsilä’s Fuel Gas Supply System to provide a complete turnkey solution.

This will expand the company’s offering of fuel-flexible options to help meet its customers’ decarbonization strategies.

The first commercial conversion project will be completed by mid-2023. The conversion concept is applicable to both large- and smaller bore engine types.

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