LNG carriers powered by gas turbines will be the next step in propulsion technology to meet the increasing desire of operators to cut down on fuel consumption, according to CSSC Hudong-Zhonghua Shipbuilding (Group) Co.
Hudong-Zhonghua deputy chief technical officer Lou Danping observed that the use of gas turbines would be in line with today’s design trend which focuses on reducing fuel consumption to manage operation cost over the average 40-year lifespan of an LNG carrier.
"Today there are multiple propulsion systems to choose from, such as steam turbine, SSD, DFDE and DF-SSD. The dual-fuel, slow-speed engine direct drive will be a popular choice, while gas turbines may be something for the next generation," Mr Lou told delegates at a SIGTTO forum held in December in Shanghai, China.
Mr Lou (pictured above) shared that Hudong-Zhonghua has, over the years, successfully built LNG carriers of larger capacity while burning less fuel at the same time.
In April 2008, Hudong-Zhonghua delivered the first of six 147,210 m³-capacity steam turbine LNG carriers to owner CLNG. These ships consume 191.3 tonnes of fuel a day.
Between January 2015 and April 2016, the shipyard delivered four 171,800 m³ LNG carriers for the MOL/ExxonMobil project. The propulsion system for these vessels is the SSD twin skeg two-stroke 6S70ME and their fuel consumption is 141 tonnes a day.
Today, Hudong-Zhonghua is working on completing the remaining two ships out of six ordered for the Australia Pacific LNG project. The propulsion system for the 174,000 m³ ships is the DFDE twin skeg 5x8L51/60DF, with fuel consumption recorded at 132 tonnes a day.
The Chinese yard is concurrently working on a four-ship order destined for BG Group’s Queensland Curtis Island LNG project for the BW Gas, Teekay LNG Partners, CNOOC and CLNG consortium. The first 174,000 m³ ship was handed over this year and the remaining three will be delivered in phases up until January 2019. The propulsion system is the DFDE twin skeg 2x8L51/60DF+2x12V51/60DF and the ships are using GTT No. 96 membrane-type LNG containment systems. Fuel consumption is measured at 106 tonnes a day.
Hudong-Zhonghua’s most recent LNG newbuilding deal was sealed in June this year under an order by MOL for four 174,000 m³ vessels for the Yamal project. The four ships will be delivered between 2019 and 2020. The propulsion system for the newbuildings will be Wartsila 2X6X72DF and the ships will also use GTT’s membrane tank technology.