MAN Engines

Seebäderschiff MS Helgoland with modern natural gas drive

MAN Engine E3262 LE222 Helgoland Ferry
In focus:

MAN Engines lays the foundation stone for environmentally friendly drive systems

MAN Engines played its part in the still forward-looking and environmentally friendly drive of the Seebäderschiff MS Helgoland, supplying MAN Rollo with three powerful twelve-cylinder gas engines. The Dutch partner used the MAN E3262 LE222 engines to assemble three 480 ekW generator sets, which also play a key role in the LNG (liquid natural gas) drive concept of the MS Helgoland. The launch of the environmentally friendly and innovative ferry had taken place towards the end of 2015.

MS Helgoland Ferry

The MS Helgoland is the first new ship with LNG propulsion. © MAN Rollo BV

MAN Rollo supplied the generator sets to the Fassmer shipyard in Berne in northern Germany. There, the ferry MS Helgoland was built for the Cassen Eils shipping company. As an environmentally friendly alternative, the passenger ship has been commuting between Cuxhaven and the high-sea island of Heligoland ever since. The 83-metre ferry can accommodate 1,060 passengers and is built strictly according to the guidelines of the Blue Angel environmental standards. This is also one reason why the MS Helgoland is the first new-built ship in Germany to be allowed to call itself an LNG-fueled ship.

With this technology, the temperature in the storage tank is minus 162 to minus 130 degrees Celsius. At these temperatures, natural gas liquefies. This reduces the volume of the fuel to one six-hundredth. Just shortly before consumption, when it enters the gas train, the liquefied gas is reheated to around 30 degrees Celsius and thus brought back to its gaseous state. The most remarkable feature of the modern drive system is the significant reduction in pollutant emissions. This means: Soot particles are largely eliminated and NOx as well as CO2 emissions are significantly reduced.

The innovative passenger ferry with cruise ship character was built for around 30.5 million euros and subsidised by the European Union to the tune of 4.175 million euros due to its environmentally friendly natural gas drive. However, it is not only the drive system that is new for the Cassen Eils shipping company – but also the possibilities that the new ship brings with it. With its own ship’s crane, the MS Helgoland can load and transport up to ten ten-foot containers of cargo in addition to the passengers.

MAN Engine E3262 LE222 Helgoland Ferry

With millimetre precision, one of the three generator sets is brought to its place of action. (Picture courtesy of Peter Andryszak)

MAN Engine E3262 LE222 Helgoland Ferry

The generator set with MAN E3262 LE222. © MAN Rollo BV

The central goal of environmental protection

“Our generator sets are primarily used as on-board units, but can also be added to the main drive in the form of a power boost,” says MAN Rollo Sales Manager Schuurman. “We deliberately chose an engine developed by MAN Engines when building the generator sets. The MAN E3262 LE222 fitted perfectly into the customer’s environmental specifications. The engines have been developed on the basis of a lean-burn process and run 100 % on gas. In addition, the generator sets meet the requirements of the classification society DNV-GL,” the sales manager continues. The 480 ekW MAN on-board gensets thus play a decisive role not only as a power source, but also in relation to the modern drive system.

In addition to the on-board units, the drive system consists mainly of two dual-fuel engines, each with 1,664 kW (2,262 HP). The power units drive – separately from each other – a propeller and a shaft generator. The generators either deliver 350 kW each, which can be used for additional power supply, or they act as an additional drive to support the dual-fuel engines. These alternatives available to the ferry mean that the MS Helgoland can rely on different drive options. The dual-fuel system can, on the one hand, drive the propeller shafts directly as a gas or diesel drive via the gearboxes and, on the other hand, call up even higher power through the shaft generator output or a share of the MAN gas on-board units. The MS Helgoland thus has a total of around 5,000 kW (approx. 6,800 HP) of drive power at its disposal. The twin-propeller vessel is thus well enough equipped to maintain speeds of up to 21 knots (37 km/h) on a sustained basis. The on-board generators also supply the ship with the necessary power for the kitchen, hotel business, nautical and technical instruments and equipment as well as LED lighting and transverse thrusters, for example.

As part of the generator sets from MAN Rollo, MAN engines have since also made a decisive contribution to the successful operation of the MS Helgoland. According to Schuurman, it was above all the outstanding load behaviour of the MAN E3262 LE222 that was decisive for the customer – and will remain so in the future.