A series of new 1400 TEU container vessels being built for GNS Shipping GmbH & Co KG managed by Nordic Hamburg, will feature 7-cylinder Wärtsilä RT-flex50DF dual-fuel 2-stroke main engines. The ships are being built at the Yangzhou Guoyu Shipbuilding yard in China, and are expected to be in operation during the latter part of 2016. They will operate on a long term charter contract for Containerships OY of Finland. The Wärtsilä contract was signed in August.
Firm orders have been made for four vessels and more ships are likely to be built as part of the same series. The selection of the new Wärtsilä RT-flex50DF engine is significant as it means that these ships will be the first container ships to use Wärtsilä's 2-stroke, low pressure, dual-fuel technology. When introduced last year, this technology was hailed as being the 'game-changer' for the marine industry because of its innovative features and the fact that it makes gas fuel operation potentially possible for virtually all vessel types. When operating in gas mode, the engine meets the IMO's Tier III regulations without need of any secondary exhaust cleaning systems.