Nov 13, 2023 | Marine propulsion & machinery news

Cummins Marine’s proposal to jointly develop a methanol conversion kit for its QSK60 engine, in partnership with offshore operator Ocean Infinity, Aberdeen Harbour Board, and methanol producer Proman, has been selected for financing under the Zero Emission Vessels and Infrastructure (ZEVI) competition funded by the UK Government and delivered in partnership with Innovate UK.

As one of the top 10 projects, Cummins and its partners delivered a proposal to develop, deploy and operate clean maritime technology solutions on the path to decarbonisation and reduction to the overall GHG footprint.

The £4.4m in total funding will be leveraged by Cummins and its fellow project stakeholders in the deployment of a UK-designed and built methanol conversion kit for its high-horsepower marine engine, enabling the transition to cleaner maritime fuels.

Upon completion, scheduled for the second quarter of 2025, the project targets a reduction in CO2 emissions of 50% for offshore operations of the vessel with NOx, SOx and PM at levels considerably below those emitted by conventional fuel. Furthermore, all retrofitted dual-fuel engines will achieve compliance with IMO Tier III emission standards.

Mark Bargent, Cummins Technology Architecture and Planning Director, said: “Cummins is honoured to be selected by the UK Government in support of this dual fuel project that aligns well with our bridge technologies strategy. We remain committed to helping the maritime sector reach its goal of 50% reductions in greenhouse gas emissions by 2050, as required by the IMO. To get there, ship builders need a roadmap for their decarbonisation plans.”

Molly Puga, Cummins Executive Director – Strategy, Product Planning and Digital added: “This project, with its focus on the conversion of existing engine installations, offers a seamless transition between today and the future builds of new, cleaner technology ships. It dismisses the need for a major vessel overhaul and creates an immediate positive impact on carbon emissions reduction in all environmental and operating conditions, ultimately helping the maritime sector meet our global climate needs.”

As part of the consortium, Ocean Infinity will provide one of its Armada 78m lean-crewed hybrid offshore service vessels for Cummins to design, develop, and test the dual fuel HVO (hydrotreated vegetable oil) and methanol technology. Cummins has previously announced the approval of unblended paraffinic fuels — often referred to as renewable diesel including HVO — in all its high horsepower engines for all industrial applications.

The Port of Aberdeen — with a strong ambition to become Scotland’s premier net zero port — will offer its facilities and services for testing the vessels, while Proman lends its experiece in methanol production, including production of ultra-low carbon methanol.

Ocean Infinity CTO Josh Broussard said: “Ocean Infinity exists to use innovative technology to transform operations at sea for the benefit of people and the planet. This project forms part of our wider future fuels strategy targeting a transition from traditional energy sources to low carbon alternatives to ultimately minimise the environmental impact of our ship operations. Our strategy includes advanced bio-fuels, such as HVO and methanol, to bridge the gap before eventually developing ammonia in the future.”

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