MAN Diesel & Turbo has announced that its low-speed ME-GI (-Gas Injection) and ME-LGI (-Liquid Gas Injection) dual-fuel engines have registered a cumulative total of 100,000 operating hours.
Teekay Gas, a daughter company of the Teekay Corporation, is the shipowner that has ordered the largest number of ME-GI engines, and currently has a total of eight such units aboard four of its vessels, with further ME-GI orders imminent. The Teekay ME-GI engines have operated 80% of the time on LNG.
Photo above: The ‘Torben Spirit’, a Teekay Gas 173,400-m3 LNG carrier powered by 2 × 5G70ME-GI engines.
Teekay was an early adopter of the ME-GI concept and originally began looking into dual-fuel technology through its Vancouver-based strategic development department in November 2012.
Graham Cattley – Technical Manager, Projects, Teekay Gas – attended the annual ME-GI operators’ forum, hosted in November 2017 by MAN Diesel & Turbo’s Low Speed Business Unit in Copenhagen, and spoke about the engine. He said: “The biggest benefit really is the economics of the vessel; it’s got a very low fuel consumption compared to rival propulsion designs and it also meets emissions regulations when we’re burning gas as well as fuel oil. With the ME-GI, we also avoid the problem of methane slip, so we are very well placed for any future emission regulations.”
Teekay’s experience has been that the ME-GI operates just as well on gas as it does on fuel oil and the company hasn’t encountered any major differences between the fuels when in heavy weather, nor experienced any issues with different gas qualities, combustion, or knocking.
Cattley also addressed the question of being an early adopter of the ME-GI, and said: “When the first ship came into service, obviously there were teething issues. There’s always a risk involved with new technology but we also knew that MAN Diesel & Turbo was the furthest on with the design and development of these engines so it gave us confidence.”
He praised the technical support that Teekay has received from MAN Diesel & Turbo since inception and commented on the subsequent amount of innovation and changes to the engine, which has continued to evolve since coming into service. As an example of this, Cattley cited MAN Diesel & Turbo engineers retuning of the ME-GI’s fuel boosters and the resultant reduction in pilot-fuel consumption of at least one metric ton per day.
Cattley concluded: “It’s been a very exciting time with the ME-GI and there’s been a lot of knowledge learnt as well. You’ve got to take a risk to be a leader in the market and we wanted the vessels with the best fuel consumption. We felt the ME-GI was the right choice at the time.”
Teekay recently entered into a long-term EMC (Engine Management Concept) agreement with MAN PrimeServ – MAN Diesel & Turbo’s after-sales division – that covers the maintenance of the ME-GI engines aboard the ‘Oak Spirit’, ‘Creole Spirit’ and ‘Torben Spirit’, sisters from Teekay’s 173,400-m3 LNG carrier series. The agreement covers the provision of spare-parts, maintenance management and the servicing of each vessel’s 2 × 5G70ME-GI (-Gas Injection) dual-fuel main engines.