Gas Shipping Customer Saves Time & Money with Industry’s First In-Hull Dual Fuel Engine Conversion
To convert its vessel Coral Anthelia to dual fuel operation, Anthony Veder worked with Cat® dealer Bolier to complete the industry’s first in-hull retrofit—saving considerable time and money in the process.
How’s this for a challenge: Retrofit a marine diesel engine to dual fuel operation in the hull of a ship without altering the vessel’s structure, limiting any onboard operations or requiring the ship to dock. Sound impossible? Not for gas shipping company Anthony Veder and a team of Dutch partners, including Cat® dealer Bolier, who teamed up to accomplish this industry-first feat. Even more impressively, it took less than five weeks.
The conversion took place aboard the Coral Anthelia, a carrier vessel that transports ethylene and liquid natural gas (LNG) primarily in northwestern Europe. Today, the Coral Anthelia’s M 46 DF engine can run on LNG, marine diesel oil and heavy fuel oil—reaching industry-leading efficiency in gas mode. Using LNG eliminates the emission of sulfur and particulate matter and reduces emissions of NOx and CO2 by 90% and 20%, respectively.
“LNG as a cargo creates a natural boil-off gas, ” says Frans Juhrend, customer support project engineer at Bolier. “Anthony Veder wanted to find a solution to consume this gas and not release it into the environment. They decided to adapt the engine in order to consume the boil-off gas—hence the conversion to run on gas as fuel.”
Anthony Veder wanted to install a dual fuel engine at the time of the ship’s construction, but the technology was not quite ready. When it did become available, the company conducted an R&D project to compare in-hull and outside-the-hull retrofits, with the in-hull process emerging as the clear winner.
Converting the Coral Anthelia’s MaKTM M 43 C diesel engine to a six-cylinder M 46 DF (dual fuel) platform, with each cylinder offering 900 kW of rated power, required careful planning and collaboration between Anthony Veder and its partners.
“The deadline was fixed, because commercial operation of the vessel in her new trade was set, ” Juhrend says. “Meeting the timeframe was only possible due to a very efficient preparation phase.”
Key steps in that phase included pre-determining all the transport openings through which required components could be transferred, as well as laying out 90% of all necessary cabling on board the vessel before arrival at the shipyard. That allowed the conversion team to begin disassembling, then rebuilding, the engine immediately.
Overall planning and operation were performed by Anthony Veder in close cooperation with partners from Bolier, Damen Shiprepair Rotterdam (Van Brink shipyard), Croon Elektrotechniek (electrical contractor), Leemberg (piping contractor) and Eekels (ship automation contractor). Despite the complexity, the team managed to execute the retrofit in less than five weeks. It helped that Caterpillar had strategically engineered the M 46 DF to allow for the retrofitting of current M 43 C engines. Synergies between the two platforms meant the in-hull conversion could occur without moving the engine block or performing extensive machining.
The retrofitting process saved Anthony Veder considerable time and money.
“Docking a vessel is costly, so not requiring the Coral Anthelia to go into dry dock was a significant cost saving, ” Juhrend says. “The feedback from the customer has been very positive both on the conversion and on the new technology.”
While the Coral Anthelia’s retrofit was the marine industry’s first of its kind, Juhrend doesn’t believe it will be the last.
“The conversion from an existing diesel engine to dual fuel is mostly driven by either environmental, legislative or financial reasons, ” he says. “For customers transporting LNG as cargo, such a conversion results in a win-win situation in all three areas.”
About Caterpillar Marine
Caterpillar Marine, with headquarters in Hamburg, Germany, groups all the marketing and service activities for Cat and MaK™ marine diesel, dual fuel and gas power and propulsion systems within Caterpillar Inc. The organisation provides premier power solutions in the medium- and high-speed segments with outputs from 93 to 16, 800 kW in main propulsion and 10 to 16, 100 kWe in marine generator sets as well as a comprehensive portfolio of propulsion solutions. The sales and service network includes more than 2, 100 dealer locations world-wide dedicated to support customers in ocean-going, commercial marine and pleasure craft wherever they are.
More information is available at: MARINE.CAT.COM/pr
For nearly 90 years, Caterpillar Inc. has been making sustainable progress possible and driving positive change on every continent. Customers turn to Caterpillar to help them develop infrastructure, energy and natural resource assets. With 2014 sales and revenues of $55.184 billion, Caterpillar is the world’s leading manufacturer of construction and mining equipment, diesel and natural gas engines, industrial gas turbines and diesel-electric locomotives. The company principally operates through its three product segments – Resource Industries, Construction Industries and Energy & Transportation – and also provides financing and related services through its Financial Products segment. For more information, visit caterpillar.com. To connect with us on social media, visit caterpillar.com/social-media.
More information is available at www.cat.com.
*Shipowner Anthony Veder has successfully converted the ethylene and LNG carrier Coral Anthelia to dual fuel operation. Using LNG eliminates the emission of sulfur and particulate matter and reduces emissions of NOx and CO2 by 90% and 20%, respectively.