The Motorship | Wärtsilä supplies two-stroke engine optimisation solution for KOTC VLCCs

Wärtsilä has been contracted to retrofit an engine optimisation solution, Wärtsilä Fuel Efficiency Boost, to the main engines of four vessels owned by Kuwait Oil Tanker Company (KOTC), a subsidiary of Kuwait Petroleum Company (KPC). The order with Wärtsilä was placed in the first quarter of 2020.

The Wärtsilä solution is based on two-stroke engine optimisation technology for selected Wärtsilä RT-flex and earlier deliveries of X-type two-stroke engines. The four KOTC very large crude carriers (VLCCs) to be retrofitted operate with 7-cylinder Wärtsilä RT-flex82T two-stroke main engines. The retrofitting of the vessels with the Wärtsilä Fuel Efficiency Boost will take place over the coming six months.

The Wärtsilä Fuel Efficiency Boost is a well-balanced combination of an increased compression ratio and modified injector nozzles. By installing a higher compression shim, the solution allows higher compression ratios and firing pressures. The modified injection nozzle features a bigger bore to shorten the injection duration.

Together with optimised engine tuning parameters, it allows fuel savings of up to 4%. The solution is available for vessels with Wärtsilä X82, RT-flex82T or RT-flex58T-D/E engines with Tier II.

The pilot installation showed around 10~12 tons per day lower fuel consumption than a sister vessel operating the same route, and resulted in 1195 tons of fuel savings over the 9 months pilot period. The pilot installation was undertaken in April 2018, and the piston running condition of the upgraded engine has also been monitored since the retrofit. To date many of the pistons have run without issues beyond the recommended time between overhauls.

“Our smart marine approach is dedicated towards raising efficiencies and improving the environmental sustainability of marine operations. The Wärtsilä Fuel Efficiency Boost is completely aligned with this philosophy, while at the same time lowering operating costs,” says Mr Riad Belaid, Area Sales GM, Middle East & Asia, 2-stroke & Specialised Services, Wärtsilä Marine Business.

“By modifying the main engines of these carriers, we are assured of operating with the latest technology and having the best operational efficiency. We know and trust Wärtsilä’s high quality products and systems, and we appreciate the excellent support they offer,” says KOTC’s Acting CEO, Mr. Ali Shehab.

In 2019, Wärtsilä successfully installed the company’s Intelligent Combustion Control and Fuel Activated Sacless Technology (FAST) upgrades on these same four vessels.

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