Wärtsilä supplies the first dedicated methanol fuel supply system for ships

Wärtsilä has developed a special fuel supply system for methanol – MethanolPac – as interest in the methanol route to decarbonise trade grows. In combination with the recently introduced Wärtsilä 32 methanol engine and the company’s proven retrofit and systems integration capabilities, MethanolPac enables Wärtsilä to provide methanol-capable fuel and propulsion systems for a variety of ship segments.

The MethanolPac fuel supply system and the Wärtsilä 32 methanol engine form a complete solution for methanol in marine applications. © Wärtsilä Corporation

Methanol is a widely used fuel that is produced from renewable sources in a CO2-neutral manner and is easier to handle than many other alternative fuels. However, as very few ships currently run on methanol, industry experience of integrating such systems is limited.

MethanolPac includes both the low and high pressure parts of the fuel supply system and the associated control and safety functions. This includes the high-pressure methanol fuel pump unit, the low-pressure pump module, the fuel valve train, the bunker stations and the tank instrumentation.

MethanolPac will receive its first reference along with the initial installation of the Wärtsilä 32 methanol engine on a wind turbine installation vessel under construction for Dutch dredging and offshore vessel operator Van Oord. (Previous post.) The newly built Wärtsilä 32 methanol engine combines tried and tested methanol fuel injection technology – first developed for the rebuilt Wärtsilä Z40 engines on board Ropax Stena Germanica in 2015 – with the control and automation systems of the proven Wärtsilä 32 platform.

Methanol fuel injection can also be retrofitted to any of the more than 5,000 conventionally powered Wärtsilä 32 engines in service. MethanolPac means such retrofits can be simplified, with one supplier providing both engine and fuel delivery system.

For many ship segments, Wärtsilä 32 Methanol and MethanolPac are among the first commercially available technologies for using methanol as a fuel. The Wärtsilä 32 methanol can be used either as the main engine or as an auxiliary generator on a wide range of vessel types, from offshore supply vessels to ocean-going merchant vessels.

Wärtsilä invests heavily in research and development to ensure ship operators have the technology to use new fuels as they become available. Wärtsilä will develop an engine concept powered by ammonia by 2023 and a hydrogen concept by 2025.

Wärtsilä will host a webinar on March 22 examining the use of methanol as a fuel in the marine sector and its new methanol engine and fuel supply technology.

About Christine Geisler

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