Nakilat, Qatargas and RasGas opt for cleaner marine fuel

January 14, 2014 - 5:00:55 am

DOHA: Qatari shipping company and the country’s LNG producers have announced they would go for cleaner marine fuel and reduce their ships’ emission rates.

Qatari shipping company Nakilat and LNG producers Qatargas and RasGas Company Limited yesterday announced they had agreed with engine manufacturer MAN Diesel and Turbo to convert a Q-Max vessel to use Liquefied Natural gas (LNG) as an alternative to heavy fuel oil in the main engines.

The Q-Max will be the world’s first low-speed marine diesel engine to be converted to use LNG as a fuel. 

The modification will meet current known and future global emission regulations.

“The proactive initiative reinforces Qatar’s commitment to the environment with plans to convert an existing low-speed diesel LNG carrier to use LNG as fuel, thereby reducing the ship’s exhaust gas emissions,” the three companies said yesterday.

Nakilat, Qatargas and RasGas said the shipyard operator Nakilat-Keppel Offshore & Marine (N-KOM) will complete the ship’s conversion at its Erhama Bin Jaber Al Jalahma Shipyard in the Port of Ras Laffan. 

The modification will utilise MAN Diesel and Turbo’s ME-GI (M-Type electronically controlled-gas injection) systems as an innovative and flexible technology.

The control of greenhouse gas and exhaust gas emissions have a high priority in today’s shipping industry. In line with emissions regulations, the engine manufacturer, MAN Diesel and Turbo, has made technical advancements to the low-speed diesel engine to have flexibility to utilise LNG, a cleaner fuel compared with heavy fuel oil, as an alternative fuel source employing the ME-GI concept. 

Evaluation of the proposed ME-GI design for the Q-Flex and Q-Max vessels has concluded in a high confidence level with regard to safety and reliability of the propulsion system.

“This project is yet another milestone in Qatar’s standing as a reliable provider of a clean energy for its customers in a safe and environmentally-sensitive manner and further evidence of Qatar’s proactive approach to the sustainable development of the country’s marine industry.

“The use of ME-GI as an alternative will allow a cleaner fuel technology with a significant reduction in environmental emissions,” the three companies said in a joint note.

International Maritime Organisation’s (IMO) regulations on emission rates of ships are expected to take effect in January 2015.

The regulations apply to all ships of 400 gross tonnage and above with a few exceptions.

Mandatory measures to reduce emissions from international shipping were adopted by parties to MARPOL Annex VI represented in the Marine Environment Protection Committee of the IMO, when it met for its 62nd session in London, representing the first mandatory global greenhouse gas reduction regime for  an international industry sector.

The Peninsula