An expanding industry
The market is expanding rapidly, for example, the latest Rolls-Royce natural gas marine engine is being installed in two LNG powered ships now under construction in India.
Part of a multi-purpose fleet, the two ro-ro ships (roll-on-roll-off) have a capacity of 5,600 tonnes: Rolls-Royce claims they will be the cleanest cargo vessels “since the age of sail”.
Another new project will convert the Bit Viking, a 25,000 dead weight ton product tanker, to run on LNG. The vessel will be retrofitted with a dual-fuel Wärtsilä engine and two 500 cubic meter storage tanks, giving it an operating range of 12 days along the Norwegian coastline. Interestingly, the conversion to LNG will qualify the vessel for lower nitrogen oxide emission taxes charged by the Norwegian government.
Some of the LNG entrants though are definitely port vessels. The Wuhan Tug Company in China launched its first LNG tugboat in August 2010. Powered by a 300 horsepower dual-fuel engine, the small tug currently is in a test program along 500 kilometres of the Yan River between Wuhan and Nanjing.
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