Forward Ships’ innovative machinery arrangement has received its first official patent right from South Korea. The Project Forward initiative demonstrates that with LNG as fuel, an advanced hull design and efficient propulsion machinery, it will be possible to meet the IMO’s target for a 40 percent reduction in carbon intensity by 2030.
The Korean Intellectual Property Office Examiner decided to grant this patent application pursuant to Article 66 of the Korean Patent Act to Arista Shipping S. A. (Applicant code: 520170558378) with Issuance No: 9-5-2018-083274504.
The patent-pending machinery arrangement consists of only two low-pressure, four-stroke Wärtsilä 31DF (Dual-Fuel) main engines and two PTO/PTIs (Power Take Off/Power Take In), coupled on one shaft that drives a Controllable Pitch Propeller. This arrangement doubles the propulsion redundancy, quadruples the power-generating redundancy, and provides safe return to port, setting a new standard and lowering operating expenses.
This arrangement also allows for an improvement in the streamlining of the aft part, the percentage of which is not taken into account in the consumption tables. Further, the positioning of the engines above the gearbox centreline allows for additional hull lines’ optimization.
Model tests of the Project’s concept vessel indicate that the Energy Efficiency Design Index (EEDI) is well below the currently most stringent Phase III level. The EEDI reflects the CO2 emissions per transport work and is a measure of carbon intensity. EEDI Phase III is applicable to ships built after 2025 and signifies a 30 percent reduction from the 2008 reference level.
The IMO has also announced that efforts should be made for a possible further reduction in CO2 emissions per transport work of up to 70 percent by 2050. One commonly discussed way to reduce such emissions has been to limit the propulsion engine power, but this would require a significantly lower service speed, resulting in a serious impact on the chain of logistics.
Project Forward, led by Athens-Based Arista Shipping, shows that this 70 percent reduction in CO2 emissions target can be met, even without lowering service speeds, through the use of carbon neutral fuels mixed with LNG. Such carbon neutral fuels can be transported, stored, and consumed in a similar way to that of fossil LNG.
“Through the advanced engine technology available today, LNG has a clearly superior well-to-wake emissions profile compared to liquid fuel. LNG appears not as a transition fuel, but the fuel of tomorrow and for many years to come,” says Antonis Trakakis, Technical Director at Arista and Chief Technology Officer of Forward Ships.
The concept vessel’s hull form has been optimised in cooperation with Finnish ship designer Deltamarin and classification society American Bureau of Shipping (ABS). “Deltamarin has a long history in energy-efficient ship designs where hull form development has always been one of the spearheads,” says Tommi Hietamäki, Project Engineer at Deltamarin.
“The efficient propulsion design concept for Project Forward is based on a novel arrangement featuring just two highly efficient Wärtsilä 31DF engines without auxiliary gensets. The project is totally in line with Wärtsilä’s Smart Marine vision that foresees an era of concept solutions delivering optimal efficiency, safety, and environmental sustainability,” says Johnny Kackur, General Manager, Wärtsilä Marine Solutions.
“As a global leader in gas, ABS is collaborating with innovative companies and organizations to support the delivery of technologies that minimize the environmental impact of shipping,” says Elias Kariambas, ABS Regional Business Director, Greece. “The Project Forward vision to create an efficient, environmentally-protective, long-haul bulk carrier is perfectly consistent with the ABS mission, and we are proud to contribute to the joint effort.”
In addition to Arista Shipping, Deltamarin, ABS and Wärtsilä, the French LNG membrane containment system designer GTT is also involved in the project. The vessel is fitted with an LNG tank positioned midships.