In a telling name change that underscores the industrial focus towards clean transportation, MAN Diesel and Turbo has been rebranded MAN Energy Solution.
In its announcement German industrial firm MAN said the renaming of its Diesel and Turbo solutions, which is responsible, amongst other things, for the giant two-stroke slow speed engine designs on some of the world’s largest ships, represents the company’s technological transformation.
“This strategic realignment is supported by the expansion of MAN Energy Solutions’ product range to include hybrid, storage and digital service technologies,” it said adding that this shows its industrial customers that it is taking a stand for the Paris Climate Agreement and the push for a carbon-neutral economy.
MAN Energy Solutions has many customers in the land-based power industry, where this name change is largely aimed, but also in shipping where it believes in what it calls maritime energy transformation.
It said the path to decarbonising the maritime economy starts with fuel decarbonisation, especially in container shipping, and said it already offers a number of alternative drive technologies, including hybrid drives, in order to further reduce the share of heavy-fuel engines which it made its name with over decades of development.
While it may be premature to suggest this name change represents the demise of the diesel engine, it certainly has to be seen in the light of the 2020 sulphur in fuel cap reduction which will see vessels have to sue fuels with fuel blends that are far removed from the crackly heavy residual fuel oils that were the remains from the refinery process and were responsible for much of the black smoke as vessels started their engines to leave port.
The name change has also to be seen in the light of the IMO talks about the carbon reduction pathway that will result in CO2 emissions from international shipping in 2050, be half those of the annual total of 2008, the development of LNG fuel, methanol, and biofuel blends in large commercial tonnage, as well as batteries and fuel cells using hydrogen as a fuel in a growing number of smaller vessels in coastal waters.