LNG First For MAN

Vessels for Volkswagen first trans-Atlantic car/truck carriers to operate full-time on the fuel

The Siem Confucius and Siem Aristotle are the very first trans-Atlantic pure car/truck carriers (PCTCs) to operate full-time on liquefied natural gas (LNG) and are both powered by an identical MAN Energy Solutions’ propulsion solution.

The vessels will transport cars for the VW Group between Europe and China.

“These vessels represent a new departure and a new ambition with their LNG-fueled propulsion solution heralding a new era of diminishing emissions within trans-Atlantic shipping as well as within the global, car-manufacturing supply chain,” said Mikael Adler, vice president, head of Region Asia Pacific – Engines and Marine System for MAN. “This ties in perfectly with MAN Energy Solutions’ belief that it is time for a ‘Maritime Energy Transition’ to find clean, decarbonized solutions for seaborne trade and transportation.”

Each vessel incorporates an individual MAN B&W S60ME-GI (-Gas Injection) dual-fuel, two-stroke engines that delivers 12600 kW with direct injection and exhaust-gas treatment to further reduce emissions. Each main engine is accompanied by two 9L28/32DF and one 7L28/32DF dual-fuel auxiliary engines.

Finally, each vessel is driven by a four-bladed MAN Alpha fixed pitch propeller of the highly-efficient Kappel design. The propellers have a diameter of 6.95 m and were produced by MAN’s propeller licensee, Dalian Marine Propeller Co., Ltd., in China.

MAN said these are the very first L28/32DF units approved for Tier 3 operation without selective catalytic reduction (SCR), as well as being the first such units to be built by Chinese licensee, CMP. Furthermore, these are the first 28/32DF engines to be built in a 7-cylinder variant. All GenSets are turbocharged by individual MAN TCR 16 (for the 9L28/32DF units) or TCR 18 (for the 7L28/32DF units) turbochargers, with the entire set-up overseen by MAN’s proprietary SaCoS engine-control system.

“Our dual-fuel portfolio can rightly be considered as mature technology with references now in every major marine segment,” said Bjarne Foldager, senior vice president, head of Two-Stroke Business at MAN Energy Solutions. “With 2020 and the new IMO emissions legislation fast approaching, our dual-fuel engines continue to act as standard-bearers for environmentally friendly, reliable propulsion technology with their seamless switching between fuels and elimination of methane slip. Furthermore, the ME-GI’s use of the diesel combustion principle ensures that it can easily adapt to run on whatever fuels the industry may prefer in the future.

“With well over 400 sales already amassed by MAN Energy Solutions’ entire portfolio of dual-fuel engines – all running on clean fuels such as methanol, LPG or LNG – these car carriers mark yet another milestone in the development of the dual-fuel market segment and cement the success of the strategy MAN Energy Solutions has laid over the past decade. The machinery we have provided for these vessels also fits with our desire to increasingly become a supplier of complete propulsion solutions.”

VW stores its vehicles at the German port of Emmen for transport to China. As the shipping of cars from one continent to the other contributes its fair share of emissions, VW – as one of the first OEMs – decided to significantly improve the environmental balance of its marine transport fleet by ordering the new car carriers.

“We are entering a new field here to reduce emissions,” said Thomas Zernechel, head of Group Logistics for Volkswagen. “Both ships are the first overseas car freighters in the world to be LNG-powered. In addition to the increasing use of LNG trucks, conversion of our many rail transports to green electricity and the use of biofuel in the short sea segment, the two new LNG ships represent an important building block for our strategic goal of climate-neutral logistics.”

Each of the newbuildings operated by Siem Car Carriers will be capable of carrying 4700 vehicles. Both ships will be equipped with a two 1,800 m3 LNG tanks installed below deck to fuel the MAN B&W ME-GI main drivers. The vessels are replacing two of nine conventional PCTCs in Siem’s fleet. Each newbuilding is estimated to cut CO2 emissions by up to 25%, NOx by up to 30%, particulate matter by up to 60%, and SOx almost completely. With this new approach, VW is taking a step in cutting down emissions in its supply chain – from manufacturing to final delivery.

Siem Car Carriers AS specializes in the transportation of automobiles, roll-on/roll-off services and break-bulk cargo working in partnership with manufacturers of automobiles, heavy equipment, trucks, and project cargo. Siem Car Carriers AS is a member of the Siem Industries Inc group of companies that includes Subsea7, Siem Offshore AS and Siem Shipping.

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