BP will soon take delivery of six new, state-of-the-art liquefied natural gas (LNG) dual-fuel tankers to support its expanding global LNG portfolio and to respond to growing demand for lower-carbon energy sources around the world. The company says the expansion will support the group’s broader shift to natural gas.
BP’s finance partners KMarin and ICBC Leasing are investing over $1 billion in the tankers, which will join existing tankers in BP Shipping’s fleet in 2018 and 2019. The vessels will help service a 20-year liquefaction contract with the Freeport LNG facility in Texas, as well as other international LNG projects in BP’s global portfolio.
“These vessels will significantly increase BP’s ability to safely transport LNG to anywhere in the world, directly supporting BP’s global natural gas strategy,” said BP Shipping CEO Susan Dio. “They also will be among the most fuel-efficient and technically advanced LNG tankers ever built.”
The LNG vessels will have state-of-the-art ‘slow speed’ dual-fuel engines – powered by liquid as usual or pressurised 300bar gas – which are widely recognised as the most efficient around. The new ships are designed to be about 25 percent more fuel efficient than their predecessors. They also will be fitted with a reliquefaction plant, meaning evaporated natural gas in the cargo tanks can be returned to the tanks as LNG, allowing the ships to deliver more LNG to the market.
Although not referred to in today’s press release, BP is believed to be referring to the six 173,400 m3 LNG carriers being built by South Korean shipbuilder Daewoo Shipbuilding & Marine Engineering (DSME), hull references 2441/2/3/4/5 and 6. These vessels will be powered by MAN Diesel & Turbo marine engines, specifically the electronically controlled gas-injection (ME-GI) propulsion systems combined with the DSME-designed and patented high pressure-fueled gas supply (HP-FGS) system.
MAN Diesel & Turbo says that using an LNG-fuelled Tier III ME-GI engine, emissions reductions of 24% CO2, 90% particulate matter, 90-95% SOx and 20-30% NOx can be achieved when compared to a Tier II engine operating on HFO and conventional fuel valve and HFO pilot oil.
The 2017 BP Energy Outlook forecasts that global LNG trade will grow seven times faster than pipeline gas trade, such that by 2035 it accounts for around half of all globally traded gas. The newly expanded BP Shipping fleet will deliver LNG volumes to a range of BP customers around the world.