The first gas-fuelled Aframax tanker in service and the first shuttle tanker to deploy batteries and LNG fuel were among the winners of this year’s this year’s Marine Propulsion Awards announced at Riviera Maritime Media’s Sulphur Cap 2020 Conference in Amsterdam.
A distinguished panel of judges selected shortlists from more than 40 nominations across six categories, which were then opened for a public vote.
The Ship of the Year award featured some excellent nominations including the first newbuild gas-fuelled container feeder vessels in Europe. The winner was a breakthrough in terms of the size and range of LNG fuel applications in the tanker market – Sovcomflot’s Aframax tanker Gagarin Prospect, delivered earlier this year. Sovcomflot’s pioneering of dual-fuel technology in the large tanker section was welcomed by judges.
“We are grateful to all our partners for their dedicated work,” said Sovcomflot executive vice president Igor Tonkovidov. “We always believed that shipping is the most efficient way of transport. But to make the next step while staying commercially efficient makes this prize very special.”
In the Emissions Reduction Award, the combined design work of Wärtsilä and Teekay Offshore on Aurora Spirit– the first of a series of innovative hybrid shuttle tankers – secured the trophy for the two companies. The vessel and its sisters feature gas-burning engines capable of running on volatile organic compounds emitted from the oil cargos, reducing a potent source of emissions. A battery system supplying electric propulsion also makes the vessels unique in their segment. Huge emission reduction claims from a hitherto unhandled source of pollution won praise for this innovative series.
“We had a good co-operation with Teekay for two years and there are six of these shuttle tankers under construction today,” said Wärtsilä sales director Stein Thorsager, who collected the award with Teekay subsidiary ALP Maritime Services’ chief operating officer Leo Leusink. “By introducing VOC recovery and transforming it into valuable fuel by mixing it with LNG, we make about 40% of the fuel used on board the vessel.”
Related article: Wärtsilä Introduces LNG-with-VOC Recovery for Cleaner Tankers