BW’s first converted VLGC embarks on maiden voyage

BW’s first converted VLGC to LPG dual-fuel propulsion is ready for its first transpacific voyage following the completion of its sea and gas trials.

The gas and sea trials took approximately seven days, with intermittent delays caused by inclement weather in waters offshore Hong Kong.

An expert team from engine manufacturer MAN ES, BW LPG’s tech departments, and classification society DNV-GL tested the LPG propulsion technology onboard to its safe limits.

Following satisfactory performance, DNV-GL has awarded the required classification certificate to BW Gemini, the LPG firm said.

The vessel will now sail on full LPG propulsion across the Pacific Ocean in “another historic first”, to Enterprise Port in Houston, Texas, for loading.

The vessels’ voyage is expected to produce 20% less greenhouse gas emissions compared to compliant fuels, and use 10% less fuel, according to BW LPG.

Eleven more to go

China’s Yiu Lian shipyard in Shenzhen is converting in total 12 very large gas carriers for BW LPG, a unit of the Singapore-based gas shipping giant.

BW LPG expects the works to take about two months per vessel with the last retrofit scheduled to complete in the second half of 2021.

The company will invest over $100 million in upgrading a part of its fleet to LPG dual-fuel propulsion as it looks to comply with the new IMO rules and slash emissions.

BW LPG owns and operates a fleet of 46 VLGCs, with an average age of 8.7 years.

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