A first-of-its-kind project in Norway will see a fuel oil bunkering vessel converted into an LNG bunkering vessel
Norway’s Bergen Tankers has awarded a contract to Høglund Gas Solutions to deliver a cargo handling system to convert a fuel oil bunkering vessel into an LNG bunkering vessel – the first such vessel based in Norway.
Built in 2010 at Nevsky Shipbuilding in Russia, 47-m Oslo Tank will be renamed Bergen LNG and converted at Westcon Florø as part of a long-term charter with Shell Gasnor, operating out of Bergen harbour in Norway starting in Q4 2020. Bergen LNG will load LNG at Gasum’s Øygarden LNG production facility and serve 10 LNG-fuelled coastal cruise ships being built for Hurtigruten and Havila Kystruten.
Høglund will supply both hardware and automation solutions, including an 850-m3 IMO Type C cargo tank, cargo pumps, bunker manifolds, a custody transfer system and a ship-to-ship transfer system. Høglund will also provide cargo control and emergency shutdown systems, and ship-to-shore/ship-to-ship link systems.
Bergen LNG is one of 17 LNG bunkering vessels either in service or confirmed for operation in Europe, according to DNV GL data.
“Høglund has worked on several of the world’s current LNG bunkering vessels, and each project has demonstrated how specialist expertise is needed to integrate and control the systems of these vessels safely and reliably,” says Høglund Gas Solutions director projects Peter Morsbach. “Retrofits should be an easy way for an owner to benefit from the shift to alternative fuels, but there are complications that can stand in the way and that require more than the standard one-size-fits-all solution to overcome,” he explains.
The vessels will be compatible for use with sustainably sourced bio-LNG, potentially enabling significant CO2 savings.
Larger plants can meet demand for flexible reliquefaction capacity
Current LNG reliquefaction capacity requirements are generally between 1.5 and 1.9 tonnes per hour (tp/h), according to cargo-handling equipment supplier Babcock.
However, with LNG trading routes changing, and vessel owners and charterers requiring more flexibility in reliquefaction capacity – potentially including full reliquefaction and capture of BOG – plants capable of operating at a higher capacity are required.
To this end, Babcock has developed options that can reach up to 3.1 tp/h for WinGD X-DF type engines and 2.7 tph for MAN ME-GI type engines.
In the area of floating LNG, floating storage units are being used to store gas in anticipation of future trading. Full cargo capture is essential to justify the costs associated with gas storage and the running of these vessels, the Babcock spokesperson explains. Technologies such as Babcock’s ecoSMRT, which is based around a single mixed-refrigerant circuit, without a need for external pre-cooling, can aid in this. The ecoSMRT technology can also result in lower maintenance requirements and a reduced spares inventory. Earlier this year Babcock announced it had secured its 21st contract to provide Hyundai Heavy Industries with the ecoSMRT solution.