Three major celebrations have taken place at Nor-Shipping 2019 in Oslo this week, related to LNG-fuelled marine transportation. Two of the world’s leading large ship builders, SHI and HHI, have been presented with approvals in principle (AiP) for VLCC designs in separate ceremonies by LR, and Gagarin Prospect, an LNG-fuelled Aframax crude oil tanker owned and operated by Sovcomflot (SCF Group), has won the Next Generation Ship Award 2019.
SHI LNG-fuelled Very Large Crude Carrier (VLCC)
Lloyd’s Register (LR) has presented Samsung Heavy Industries (SHI) with approval in principle (AiP) for an LNG-fuelled Very Large Crude Carrier (VLCC) equipped with a 6,000 cubic metre LNG fuel storage tank, a two-stroke dual-fuel diesel engine and an LNG fuel supply system. This AiP was a result of joint development project with SHI named VLCC2020.
LR assessed the technical feasibility of the LNG fuel supply system and energy saving technologies, including SAVER Air, a SHI patented air lubrication system, and Norsepower’s rotor sail solution, a proven fuel-saving technology which offers potential fuel savings of 5-7%, depending on operating routes. SHI’s LNG-fuelled VLCC design is estimated to reduce approximately 25% of CO2 emissions and 99% of sulphur oxides, compared to conventional VLCC design.
Mr JT Jung, SHI CTO, said this significant milestone “demonstrates our commitment to taking a step forward to help meet the challenge of reducing greenhouse gas emissions through a technically and commercially viable design”.
HHI Very Large Crude Carrier (VLCC) ‘eco-tanker’
LR has presented HHI (Hyundai Heavy Industries Co. Ltd) with approval in principle (AiP) for a Very Large Crude Carrier (VLCC) ‘eco-tanker’ design, capable of using a combination of volatile organic compounds (VOC) mixed with LNG as fuel and Norsepower’s rotor sail solution for wind-assisted propulsion. This development was the result of a joint development project (JDP) collaboration between HHI, LR and Norsepower.
The VOC recovery system was developed by HHI and will allow the VLCC to use fuel produced from naturally-occurring vapor from the cargo tank during operation. The AiP has been verified for interface and control logic stability with other systems, resulting in reduced emissions and stably improved efficiency.
The impact of the installation of Norsepower’s rotor sail solution, such as structural reinforcement and visibility calculation, was reviewed using computational-fluid dynamics (CFD) during the JDP and it was confirmed that it has the potential of providing 5-7% fuel savings, dependent on operating routes.
LR facilitated a high-level hazard and operability (HAZOP) workshop for the LNG fuel supply system and associated technology in accordance with LR’s ShipRight Procedure for Risk-Based Designs. The concept design has been examined in conjunction with the result of the HAZOP.
This AiP demonstrates the potential for reducing emissions in ship designs, by combining VOC recovery and LNG in a dual-fuel system with the addition of rotor sails, to help the shipping industry address the challenge of reducing greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions by 2050.
Hong-Ryeul Ryu, Vice President in the Initial design office of HHI, said: “We have focused on developing clean and smart ships that are technically reliable and commercially feasible. We are doing our best to design advanced ships that will benefit ship owners and lead eco-friendly shipping. We believe that these efforts will bring us a step closer to the future.”
Comment from Norsepower
Jukka Kuuskoski, CSO of Norsepower, said: “We are optimistic that support from these industry leading organisations will open up the market for our rotor sail technology to a larger number of VLCCs – propelling towards a modern era of auxiliary wind propulsion for the global maritime industry, while supporting shipping’s transition to decarbonisation and achieving greater ship fuel efficiencies. Wind is one of the most freely available energy sources making wind-assisted propulsion viable in supporting the shipping industry to reduce its fuel consumption and meet impending carbon reduction targets.”
Gagarin Prospect, an LNG-fuelled Aframax crude oil tanker owned and operated by Sovcomflot (SCF Group), has won Next Generation Ship Award 2019, which was announced at Nor-Shipping 2019 Official Opening Ceremony held in Oslo on 3 June 2019. The organisers say the award honors the most promising design for ships that will be at sea in the coming decade.
Gagarin Prospect is the lead ship in the ‘Green Funnel’ series of 114,000-dwt Aframax crude oil tankers designed to use LNG as a primary fuel. Switching to a cleaner-burning fuel enables to significantly reduce vessel emissions, which is particularly important for ships in high-traffic areas such as the Baltic and North Seas where Sovcomflot’s ‘Green Funnel’ vessels primarily operate.
President & CEO of Sovcomflot Sergey Frank, who received the award from Norwegian Minister of Trade and Industry Torbjørn Røe Isaksen in the presence of His Majesty King Harald V of Norway, said: “We are grateful to Nor-Shipping for this recognition of our ‘Green Funnel’ initiative. Today, the shipping industry steadily transforms itself to become increasingly more sustainable, and we are proud that Sovcomflot is amongst those who lead this process. The switch to using LNG as a fuel could significantly contribute to reducing anthropogenic impact on environment. We firmly believe that adopting LNG as a primary fuel for large-capacity tankers is the right move.”
He added: “We’ve been working on the ‘Green Funnel’ for several years in close collaboration with our partners, Shell, Hyundai Heavy Industries, and DNV GL. Today, I want to share the honour of receiving this prestigious award with them all and express my gratitude for their support of the “Green Funnel’ initiative and their contribution to making these tankers a reality.”
Currently, Sovcomflot has six such ‘Green Funnel’ Aframax tankers in operation and a further five LNG-fuelled tankers under construction, comprising two similar Aframax tankers and three 51,000-dwt MR product carriers.