Marine engineers and designers at Houlder Ltd, provider of design, engineering services and equipment to the marine and offshore oil and gas industries, have developed a standalone processing unit that efficiently manages boil-off gas on board bunker vessels and client ships. With potentially 5,000 LNG fuelled vessels on the horizon, Houlder says its unit is expected to make a significant impact to liquefied natural gas (LNG) powered vessels in the future.
Announced this week at the Lloyd’s Maritime Academy LNG Bunkering Seminar, the concept design arose in response to the impact of increased emission legislation upon the maritime industry and development of LNG as a marine fuel. The technology focuses on improving retention of natural gas vapour generated either by warming tanks or through the transfer process. The system is intended to minimise requirements from the host vessel in terms of foot print and power consumption, especially compared to re-liquifaction plants.
Similarly, the importance of effective boil-off gas management grows in the case of vessels operating with slow speed, low pressure engines and none pressurised tanks (IMO IGC B and membrane containment systems). These containment systems operate at near atmospheric pressure meaning boil-off gas can’t be managed through tank pressure increases. We would anticipate that the Houlder boil-off management system will provide noticeable savings to operators of these ships.
“We’ve already engaged with industry and will work more closely with stakeholders throughout 2014 to bring the system to market” commented Ian Meaden, Houlder’s lead on LNG Projects.
(Source: Houlder Ltd)