A pioneer in the use of LNG as a fuel in the offshore sector, Harvey Gulf International Marine (HGIM) has become the first vessel owner and only company in the US with a ‘tri-fuel’ vessel and a vessel bunkering facility selling both diesel fuel and LNG
One of the largest OSV owners in the US, privately held, Louisiana-based HGIM first made waves in the offshore sector when the platform supply vessel (PSV) Harvey Energy went on charter to Shell in 2015, becoming the first LNG-fuelled vessel in the Gulf of Mexico. By installing a Wärtsilä-supplied energy storage system, including an energy management system, transformer and drive all mounted inside a single container, Harvey Energy has added the distinction of being the first ‘tri-fuel’ vessel in the US and one of just a handful in the world.
According to Wärtsilä, installing the 1,450-kW battery module will reduce exhaust emissions, fuel consumption and noise levels. Overall fuel costs are estimated to be reduced by 10 to 20%. Additionally, Harvey Energy will be able to sail to and from Port Fourchon, Louisiana, on electric power only, using its battery at the dock to lower noise and emissions. The retrofit should also result in less running hours on the engines, reducing maintenance costs.
An added bonus of batteries is that they supply on-demand power with fast dynamic response – crucial for dynamic positioning operations. Further, batteries used for peak shaving make extra sense for LNG engines, which need to be operated with consideration for optimal loading due to the careful control of fuel-air mix required to avoid knocking or misfiring.
Harvey Energy was one of a series of PSVs based on a Vard 1 311 design from Vard Marine (formerly STX Marine). It has an overall length of 92 m, beam of 19.5 m, with a clear deck area of 974 m2 and dynamic positioning class 2 capability.
Among HGIM’s other recent investments is a new diesel bunkering facility in Port Fourchon, pairing it with its existing LNG bunkering operations there. Additionally, HGIM expects to complete installation of a GE battery-power system on the Vard 1 301 design PSV Harvey Champion, making it a dual-fuel vessel in September.
A number of ’firsts’
Rightfully considered a pioneer in the use of LNG as a marine fuel, HGIM chief executive Shane Guidry has a number of ‘firsts’ in the LNG and alternative fuel sectors. Besides building the first US-flagged dual-fuel PSVs, first LNG vessel bunkering facility, and first American ‘tri-fuel’ vessel, Mr Guidry has also built the first LNG bunkering articulated tug barge (ATB) vessel in the US. As owner of Q-LNG Transport, Mr Guidry built the ATB Q-LNG 4000/Q-Ocean Service at Halter Marine in Pascagoula, Mississippi. Serving the bunkering needs of dual-fuel vessels calling at ports in the US southeast, the LNG ATB is under long-term charter to Shell, based in Port Canaveral, Florida.
Commenting on his investments in LNG and battery hybrid technology, Mr Guidry said much of what he has accomplished has been driven by listening to clients and investors and taking stock of the market.
“While I have delivered some of the most complicated alternative fuel technology to the market in many different ways, it is my clients and investors who have driven these decisions,” said Mr Guidry. “I am a listener and, better than most, can read between the lines. I was able to hear the calling from my clients and investors as to what their future wants and needs would be. So, I put my team together, and we reacted. Today, we provide more LNG uses and services than any company in America, and we are both thankful and proud of it.”
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