Oceanic Breeze, a 155,300-m3 Moss LNG carrier, made its maiden voyage carrying LNG from the Ichthys LNG Project in Darwin, Australia to Inpex Corporation’s Naoetsu LNG Terminal in Niigata, Japan on 13 February.
Jointly owned by Japan’s K Line and Inpex Shipping Co, a fully owned subsidiary of Inpex, Oceanic Breeze operates a dedicated service that will transport 0.9 mta from Ichthys.
Built by Japan’s Mitsubishi Heavy Industries, the LNGC has ultra-steam propulsion and a Sayaendo continuous cover, concealing the spherical containment tanks to reduce weight and air resistance, which in turn cuts the vessel’s fuel consumption.
MHI also built Oceanic Breeze’s sister vessel, tri-fuel diesel-electric 182,000-m3 Pacific Breeze, the world’s largest Moss LNGC.
With offshore production facilities located about 200 km off the coast of Western Australia, Ichthys is expected to operate for 40 years, providing a major new source of LNG to Japan. About 70% of the 8.9 mta of LNG produced by Ichthys will be supplied to Japanese customers.
Besides LNG, Ichthys will produce 1.65 mta of LPG and 100,000 barrels of condensate per day at its peak. Inpex controls a major stake in Ichthys. Other shareholders include Total, CPC Corporation, Taiwan and Japanese utilities Tokyo Gas, Osaka Gas, Kansai Electric Power, JERA and Toho Gas.
In October 2018, the first LNG cargo from Ichthys was carried by Pacific Breeze and the first LPG cargo was transported by the VLGC Grace River, both owned by K Line. Condensate products will be carried by Aframax tankers operated by K Line’s subsidiary in Singapore.
Monitoring LNGC performance
To monitor the technical performance of the its chartered vessels Oceanic Breeze, Pacific Breeze and Symphonic Breeze, which serves Prelude LNG, Inpex installed ClassNK Napa Green software. The software monitors voyage planning, weather routeing, fuel consumption, allows voyage optimisation through speed profile, engine configuration and route recommendation. The Napa software even provides feedback on hull fouling and propulsion resistance.
“The propulsion system of an LNG carrier is far more complex than that of any other vessel type,” Inpex transportation group manager for LNG trading Akihiko Itoh said, “which is why a fundamental understanding of elements including the cargo containment and management systems, as well as the ultra-steam turbine is critical to efficiency. From system configuration to setting KPIs, Napa’s indepth LNG knowledge, spanning design, engineering and operations enables us to effectively collaborate with them for transparent fleet performance and voyage reporting that delivers genuine value.”
Both Ichthys and Prelude are located in the Browse Basin and are expected to produce LNG for decades. The first production from Prelude FLNG was announced on 26 December 2018. Shell owns a 67.5% stake in Prelude, Inpex 17.5%, KOGAS 10% and Opic 5%. Prelude is expected to produce 3.6 mta, 0.4 mta of LPG and 1.3 mta of condensate.
Mr Itoh said that ClassNK-Napa Green “will effectively give us live sea trial results throughout the vessels’ working lives. This will help us to realise substantial operational savings across our entire fleet through timely evaluation of, and reaction to ship performance, which underpins our ability to provide a consistent, reliable, and efficient supply of LNG in support of Japan’s long-term energy security.”