Japanese shipbuilder Mitsui Engineering & Shipbuilding (MES) has completed the world’s first ME-GIE ethane-operated two-stroke diesel engine, which will be installed on one of three ethylene carriers under construction for Oslo-listed ship owning company Ocean Yield ASA.
The Mitsui-MAN B&W 7G50ME-C9.5-GIE is the first engine in a series of three for installation in three liquefied ethylene gas (LEG) carriers of 36,000 m3.
The vessels, being built at Sinopacific Offshore & Engineering (SOE) in China, were ordered in May 2014.
The three LEG carriers are scheduled for delivery in August, October and December 2016 respectively, and will subsequently be chartered on 15-year “hell and high water” bareboat charters to Germany’s Hartmann Group.
During the first ten years they will have a fixed charter rate and the last five years a floating charter rate, Ocean Yield earlier said.
According to MAN Diesel & Turbo, ethane was chosen as fuel, in preference to HFO, due to its more competitive pricing as well as the shorter bunkering time it entails.
“The ME-GI engines will be set up such that they can easily be converted to run on methane as an alternative,” MAN said.
The company currently has eight ME-GIE engines on order.