LNG through and through

Ever since Mathias Jansson wrote his master’s thesis for Wärtsilä, he has been thinking about how to use LNG. In his early years at Wärtsilä, he had the opportunity to experience and learn about the whole spectrum of tasks from development, sourcing and engineering to delivery for the first LNG fuel conversion project of the Bit Viking for Tarbit Shipping. Now, as General Manager, Innovation and Product Support, Fuel Gas Handling for Marine Solutions, he focuses more on new developments and on supporting engineering, sales and deliveries. Along the way, he has evolved into one of the best LNG spokespeople Wärtsilä has to offer.

1 What have you found most interesting/surprising about the rise in popularity of LNG? 

Originally, LNG was used only for small ferries and offshore supply vessels and was very regional, mostly in Norway. So it is surprising that so many vessel segments have adapted so quickly, within the last couple of years, to using LNG – first in Europe and North America, then in the Middle East and Asia. Today it’s used for a wide variety of ship types: cruise ships, tugs, dredgers and semi-submersible crane vessels.

2 How is Wärtsilä making LNG more accessible or a more realistic option for potential new customers?

We first started out believing we could sell something standardised to everyone, but soon we realised that we needed to adapt to the specific needs of each customer individually. So now we make LNG accessible by creating tailor-made LNG solutions, not just a particular component. For example, we have the flexibility to look at different types of tanks and materials that are ideal for each application. We also can integrate other Wärtsilä equipment, such as the Gas Valve Unit and an LNG pump like the ECA fuel pump, which was designed for cargo but also works for fuel use. So we create a good package, all with the benefit of the Wärtsilä name to back the products, and then add complementary maintenance and services.

3 What kind of innovations do you foresee in the world of LNG?

It’s exciting to be part of the shift from diesel oil to alternative solutions, including gas, exhaust gas after treatment and hybrids, because it brings a mix of opportunities. We are making history in this big conversion so it’s not a mature market in terms of technology. Because there’s no established ”right way” to do things, we are working continually on new concepts. For instance, we’re considering many possible options for new fuel tank types, designs and insulation materials. In terms of operations, we are interested in making systems inherently safe from any human error and in keeping equipment in good, reliable shape. Developments on the data and digitalisation front will allow us to add further value to our physical products and make them even easier for customers to adopt and use in their specific applications.

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