Wärtsilä Powers Japan Shipping’s Shift to Gas Age

A total of sixteen new gas carrier ships being built in Japan for Japanese owners are to be powered by Wärtsilä dual-fuel engines capable of running on liquefied natural gas (LNG) or conventional diesel fuels.

The contracts for 20 nine-cylinder, 25 six-cylinder and 16 eight-cylinder Wärtsilä 50DF dual-fuel engines were all placed between the second half of 2014 and December 2015.

This total of 61 engines that will be running primarily on LNG represents a notable expansion of Japan’s gas fuelled merchant fleet.

According to Wärtsilä, these will be the company’s first 50DF engines delivered for Japan’s LNG carrier market.

“We are honoured and pleased to be making this contribution to Japan’s ongoing shift into shipping’s gas age,” says Lars Anderson, Vice President, Wärtsilä Marine Solutions.

The 16 vessels, which have a gas cargo capacity of between 155,000 and 180,000 cubic metres, will be employed mainly in delivering shale gas from the USA to Japan.

When operating in gas mode, the nitrogen oxide (NOx) emissions from Wärtsilä’s 50DF dual-fuel engines are at least 85 percent below those specified in the current IMO regulations, and CO2 emissions are some 25 percent less than those of a conventional marine engine running on diesel fuel, the company said. Additionally, the sulphur oxide (SOx) and particle emissions are negligible at almost zero percent.

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