Wärtsilä Expands Methanol Engine Offering to Accelerate Sustainability

methanol engine
Wärtsilä is expanding its methanol offering to offer the broadest line of engines (Wärtsilä)

Published Dec 5, 2023 7:15 PM by The Maritime Executive


Wärtsilä is looking to offer shipowners the broadest portfolio of methanol-fueled engines to help them meet the regulatory challenges to support the move to lower carbon emissions and increase sustainability for shipping. A global leader in power and propulsion for the marine market, Wärtsilä Marine Power seeks to continue to lead the market today by introducing four additional methanol-fueled engines to its portfolio.

“We recognize that it is vital for ship owners to have maximum flexibility and to keep options open as the industry navigates the uncertain pathway to net zero, and we are working hard to deliver this operational flexibility,” said Stefan Nysjö, Vice President of Power Supply, Wärtsilä Marine Power. “Our track record is already very solid, and this expanded engine portfolio adds to both our accomplishments and our long-term commitment to the maritime industry.”

The move to expand the methanol portfolio comes as the industry continues to move toward methanol as the emerging best alternative currently available to achieve the goals for decarbonization. Martin Wold, a consultant at DNV highlighted yesterday that four more methanol-fueled ships were ordered in November pushing the orderbook to over 200 vessels due in the next five years. While there were only a few orders overall in November, it was equally split between LNG and methanol-fueled propulsion and methanol has quickly risen to the second most ordered option while other alternatives such as ammonia remain theoretical with many challenges still to be addressed.

With today’s announcement, Wärtsilä reports it will add the Wärtsilä 20, Wärtsilä 31, Wärtsilä 46F, and Wärtsilä 46TS to its portfolio of engines capable of operating with methanol fuel. The Wärtsilä 32 was launched last year as a methanol engine and has already received type approval certificates from several classification societies. The Wärtsilä 20 engine family can be ordered with methanol combustion capabilities. The four new methanol engines will be available for deliveries at different points from 2025 onwards.

Further, throughout the Wärtsilä diesel engine portfolio, covering both new engines, and those currently in operation, Wärtsilä is developing the corresponding methanol retrofit capabilities. Methanol upgrades are either available or under development for the Wärtsilä 31, Wärtsilä 32, Wärtsilä 46F, Wärtsilä 46TS and Wärtsilä ZA40S engines.
“Decarbonisation is front and center to our strategy going forward, and the development of engines capable of running on future fuels is crucial to that,” said Roger Holm, President of Wärtsilä’s Marine Power business. 

The company also highlights that it is backing its extensive experience with strong investments in developing new fuel-flexible technologies and products. Wärtsilä is one of the few marine engine builders with extensive experience in methanol engines, having converted the first of four engines on the ferry Stena Germanica in 2015. Last year, the Wärtsilä 32 Methanol engine and MethanolPac storage and supply system were launched, becoming one of the first commercially available solutions for using methanol as a fuel in the maritime industry.