Matson to Convert Third Containership to LNG Fuel

26 May 2023

U.S.-based shipping line Matson (NYSE: MATX) will convert the main engine on its container ship, the Kaimana Hila, to a dual-fuel ME-GI engine capable of running on liquefied natural gas (LNG), MAN Energy Solutions has confirmed.

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This follows an option contained in a contract signed with MAN in June 2022 to perform an identical conversion on a sister ship, the Daniel K. Inouye. The retrofit of the Kaimana Hila, an ‘Aloha’ class 3,600 TEU Jones Act-compliant vessel built in 2019, will be performed by MAN PrimeServ, MAN Energy Solutions’ after-sales division. The Kaimana Hila is currently fitted with a MAN B&W S90ME-C10.5 engine.

The retrofit is a part of a growing trend among ship owners to choose dual-fuel retrofits for their existing vessels in service to achieve fleet-transformation goals while simultaneously gaining benefits in terms of upcoming regulations such as Carbon Intensity Indicator (CII) and Energy Efficiency Existing Ship Index (EEXI). Retrofitting a MAN B&W engine to dual-fuel running is straightforward, as the company’s standard, electronically-controlled diesel engines are constructed as ‘dual-fuel ready’ and are therefore readily retrofittable, offering a viable pathway to shipowners who wish to achieve a net-zero carbon footprint by 2050.

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Matson’s Senior Vice President, Vessel Operations & Engineering, Capt. Jack Sullivan, said, “This will be the third vessel Matson is retrofitting with dual-fuel LNG capability. Each retrofit is a meaningful step toward achieving our corporate sustainability goals to achieve a 40% reduction in Scope 1 greenhouse gas fleet emissions by 2030 and net-zero Scope 1 GHG emissions by 2050.”

The option to take-up the retrofit comes on the heels of Matson’s recent announcement of the construction of three LNG-powered newbuilds that will also be driven by ME-GI engines. Since the first two-stroke ME-GI (LNG) retrofit in 2015, MAN Energy Solutions has built an impressive list of references and expanded its portfolio of dual-fuel retrofits to also include fuels like LPG and methanol.

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