MAN Diesel & Turbo said the world’s first ME-GIE (Gas Injection Ethane) two-stroke engine fueled by ethane has passed gas trials on board the Gaschem Beluga, an LEG carrier, on its trip between Houston and the Bahamas.
The Mitsui-MAN unit is the first in a series of two engines acting as main propulsion for two such LEG carriers of 36,000 cubic meters ordered by Hartmann Reederei of Germany and Ocean Yield of Norway, and constructed at Sinopacific Offshore Engineering (SOE) in China.
MAN D&T said no gas leaks were observed while ethane levels in the double-walled piping were constant and under the gas’s LEL (Lower Explosive Limit).
The Gaschem Beluga subsequently crossed the Atlantic on its way to Europe, powered solely by ethane, and has already achieved a total of 550 operational hours.
MAN Diesel & Turbo currently has eight ME-GIE engines on order, saying that the ME-GIE’s Diesel-type combustion can now be fully exploited by its ability to operate on almost any gas quality.
The engine will be able to run on a mixture of LPG and methane, or ethane, with an unchanged gas-mode efficiency.
The ME-GIE engine is based on the ME-GI engine that, with over 200 engines ordered, has been deployed aboard LNG carriers and container vessels.