The selection of Caterpillar Marine dual fuel engines for a new generation of cruise ships provides further evidence of the power solutions specialist’s lead in the LNG marine propulsion space.
The company’s MaK 16 M 46 DF dual fuel engines, along with the full LNG supply and handling system, are to be installed on four new ships, two apiece under construction at Meyer Werft Papenburg (Germany) and Meyer Turku (Finland) shipyards.
Caterpillar Marine now offers all round LNG propulsion solutions – from shore-side bunkering to on-board storage; from bunker tanks via LNG handling and treatment to the dual fuel engines including automation systems; and ultimately the dual fuel main engines MaK 16 M 46 DF, in close cooperation with LNG and cryogenic specialist Marine Service GmbH.
“From a single source, we provide the complete system for ship operators who wish to capitalise on the benefits of LNG as a marine fuel,” said Ulf Hannemann, Caterpillar Marine cruise and ferry segment manager. “We have successfully completed a number of diesel to dual-fuel conversions in the commercial shipping sector and our pipeline of newbuild installations continues to grow.”
“However, it is in the cruise sector that we see the greatest opportunities,” Hannemann continued. “Clean fuel for cruise vessels is essential in both operational and business strategy terms.”
Further, the company is pioneering new techniques which make gas-only operation even more attractive. Research and development at Caterpillar’s Rostock facility has demonstrated the efficient operation of LNG main engines at loads of less than 20% for the first time. Caterpillar demonstrated the capabilities of the MaK M 46 DF engine and started the engine by using LNG from the very beginning, thus avoiding diesel engine specific emissions – another first for the company. “This development is a key consideration for cruise operators who wish to use LNG, rather than risk smoke from the funnel or soot on deck, whilst starting main engines and maneuvering in port waters,” noted Dr Frank Starke, Managing Director of Caterpillar Motoren.
The Caterpillar engines offer a whole range of technical innovations including fast load response, better fuel consumption and long intervals between overhauls. They will use the latest generation of the Cat® Engine Control Units (ECU), which in conjunction with in-house software, enabling customer operation profile-specific optimisation. Caterpillar is also providing its Asset Intelligence (AI) technology and service, which leverages remote monitoring, automated data analytics and expert advisory services to ensure the highest uptime and lowest operating cost.
Caterpillar’s sales and service partner Zeppelin Power Systems, headquartered in Hamburg, is managing the project, including supply, commissioning and service. “As a trusted Caterpillar sales and servicer partner for over 60 years with extensive experience in power solutions, we offer our customers individual and highly efficient solutions for marine applications,” added Volker Possoegel, Zeppelin Power Systems chief executive officer. “With our excellent sales and service organization, we are looking forward to providing the new flagships with comprehensive engineering and service competence to ensure the highest uptime.”