World’s first LPG-fuelled VLGC now undergoing sea trials with Wärtsilä fuel system

Source: press release, 4 November 2020

‘BW Gemini’ (photo: BW LPG)
‘BW Gemini’ (photo: BW LPG)

Sea and gas trials for a Very Large Gas Carrier (VLGC) featuring the technology group Wärtsilä’s pioneering liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) Fuel Supply System are successfully completed. The BW Gemini, owned and operated by BW LPG a company registered at Oslo stock exchange, is the world’s first VLGC to be fuelled by LPG. The use of LPG as fuel reduces emissions of sulphur oxides (SOx) by some 97% and is viewed as being an important step towards the decarbonisation of shipping. The sea trials commenced on October 20, 2020.

The BW Gemini was built in 2015 and was retrofitted this year with Wärtsilä’s ground-breaking LPG Fuel Supply technology. Wärtsilä was designated as the system integrator for the conversion project. This is the first of 12 BW LPG ships to be retrofitted for operating on LPG fuel with the Wärtsilä system.

“LPG is powering this vessel while protecting the environment, and we look forward to demonstrating its benefits to the industry as shipping prepares for a future with zero-carbon propulsion. BW LPG thanks Wärtsilä for its collaboration on this industry-leading innovation, and for sharing our vision of achieving sustainability through cleaner energy,” says Pontus Berg, Executive Vice President, Technical and Operation.

“World firsts are always exciting, and we congratulate BW LPG on their commitment to pursuing the adoption of LPG as a long-term viable and sustainable marine fuel. The project highlights once again Wärtsilä’s leading position in bringing innovative fuel gas solutions, along with the customer benefits they offer, to the market,” says Kjell Ove Ulstein, Director of Sales and Marketing at Wärtsilä.

The Wärtsilä scope included the system engineering, the ship design for the conversion project, two 930 m3 fuel tanks with the pumps and fuel system, the pump skids, and the cargo handling system.

The Wärtsilä LPG Fuel Supply System is available as a stand-alone solution, or as an integrated element within the LPG cargo handling system.