With increased manoeuvrability and DP class 2 capability, a new dual-fuel battery hybrid LNG bunker vessel would simplify refuelling operations and increase safety
Class society Bureau Veritas Marine & Offshore has granted approval in principle (AIP) to a concept design for a dynamic positioning (DP) class 2 capable 19,000-m3 LNG bunkering vessel with membrane tank technology. Bureau Veritas (BV) made the presentation of the AIP at Marintec in Shanghai in December.
Developed by Hong Kong-based technical consultancy Marrinov with engineering support from ship designer Marine Assistance, the dual-fuel LNG bunkering vessel (LNGBV) is called Quadelprop, reflecting its high manoeuvrability facilitated by four azimuth thrusters fitted at each corner of its hull. Four dual-fuel generator sets and an energy storage system (ESS) provide power to the LNGBV and its electric thruster motors.
During refueling operations, Quadelprop’s DP system allows it to maintain position relative to the client ship, ensuring that the LNG transfer system is always within a safe working envelope. Using its DP system, Quadelprop can perform ship-to-ship LNG bunkering operations at anchorage and in designated waiting areas, simplifying and speeding the refuelling. The LNGBV’s DP system will also make it easier to quickly move away from the client ship in case of an emergency shut down and disconnection of transfer hoses.
STS LNG bunkering will be conducted from either of two manifolds, one at amidships on the portside, with a maximum transfer flow rate of 2,000 m3/hr, and a second at the stern, with a maximum transfer flow rate of 250 m3/hr. The starboard side amidships manifold is dedicated to LNG loading at terminal.
The LNG cargo will be carried under a maximum pressure of 0.7 barg in two identical membrane-type tanks developed in close collaboration between Gaztransport & Technigaz (GTT) and Air Liquide. The LNG cargo tanks use GTT’s Mark III Flex technology and a highly efficient sub-cooling unit, type TBF-700.
Developed for coastal navigation and port operations, the LNGBV has a high level of safety with a full ‘B/5’ wide double hull protecting the cargo tank area and the engineroom as well as a full redundancy of main and auxiliary equipment required by the BV DP2 notation.
BV senior vice president Claude Maillot said it was appropriate to grant the AIP to the concept at Marintec because of the trade fair’s growing importance as a forum for the latest marine technology and “as China will be building so many of the ships that will be needed to meet the challenge of creating a cleaner shipping industry.”
Decarbonisation of ocean shipping was also central to several other ship designs that gained AIP certification at Marintec. Lloyd’s Register issued an AIP to China Merchants Energy Shipping Co Ltd, CNOOC Gas and Power Group, Dalian Shipbuilding Industry and GTT for the design of an LNG-fuelled very large crude carrier (VLCC) that meets IMO’s GHG 2030 emission limitations, while also being competitive both in terms of capital expenditure (CAPEX) and operating expenditure (OPEX).
Underpinning the use of LNG as a fuel in oceangoing shipping, CNOOC Gas and Power Group also has plans to build LNG bunker vessels and four LNG bunkering stations along the Chinese coast.
Chinese shipbuilder Hudong-Zhonghua Shipbuilding was also granted an AIP from DNV GL for the design of a dual-fuel 25,000-teu ultra-large container ship (ULCS).
“Hudong-Zhonghua has been a leading player in pushing the ship design envelop forward, especially for large vessels,” says DNV GL maritime Greater China regional manager Norbert Cray. “In addition, the use of LNG is a sign of the continuing momentum for the fuel, as shipping transitions to a lower emission, lower carbon future.”