Compressor systems are being put to efficient use in pursuit of cleaner vessels and energy
When Symphony of the Seas, the largest passenger ship in the world, made her maiden voyage in April this year, a system from Norway’s Tamrotor Marine Compressors (TMC) helped the vessel get under way.
But Oslo-based TMC’s order book for 2018 grants the company little time to rest on its laurels, even if it was inclined to do so given the amount of press attention the vessel’s launch garnered. The company has contracts in place across a swath of maritime sectors.
The year kicked off with a contract for compressed air systems for four cruise ships being built by Fincantieri for Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings (NCL). These systems will comprise two 44 kW marine water-cooled compressors and two air-cooled air dryers for control and service air. TMC also has an option to deliver similar compressed air systems to the two additional vessels that Fincantieri has an option to build for NCL.
Another deal was signed in January with Shanghai Waigaoqiao Shipbuilding Co., Ltd to supply a marine compressed air system for a newbuild floating storage, production and offloading vessel (FPSO). TMC will supply a system comprising four 400 kW service air compressors with air dryers and filters.
In February, Netherlands-based shipbuilder IHC signed up TMC to deliver a compressed air system for an integrated reel-lay vessel under construction for UK-based Subsea7, comprising two 84 kW water-cooled compressors and three air-cooled air dryers for control and working air.
March brought with it a Korean contract and another Dutch deal. Samsung Heavy Industries is building four LNG-fuelled shuttle tankers for Teekay Offshore, each of which will be equipped with a TMC compressed air system, including compressors for service and control air, as well as absorption air dryers. TMC agreed to provide SBM Offshore with three 500 kW frequency-controlled instrument air compressors, two 86 kW feed air compressors and associated driers and filters for installation on an FPSO set for the Liza project offshore Guyana.
Another deal landed in April, this time for Norway’s biggest longline fishing company, Ervik Havfiske group, which chose TMC to provide systems for two longliner vessels under construction at Tersan Shipyard. Each vessel will be provided with a service air compressor, two refrigerant air driers and one absorption air dryer.
Most recently, TMC signed two contracts for a floating storage and regasification unit (FSRU) being built for Swan Energy Ltd. by Hyundai Heavy Industries. One contract sees TMC provide three service and control air compressors to the South Korean shipyard, while the other is for a subcontractor, which will receive two feed air compressors for a nitrogen delivery system.
TMC’s director of sales and business development Hans Petter Tanum said: “To secure one contract for this FSRU is great, and to win two contracts is fantastic.
“I believe this confirms that shipyards and subcontractors to the big yards are increasingly moving away from marinised land-based compressors and instead opting for compressed air systems that have been designed and developed solely for offshore and marine applications.”
'Smart Air' month
TMC feels strongly enough about its green technologies to declare last November 'Smart Air' month, devoting the time to promoting itstechnology of the same name. The Smart Air range of compressors have a number of features that improve efficiency and (as increasingly seems to go hand-in-hand) are less damaging to the environment.
The electrical motor adjusts itself to produce the exact air volume required for the compressed air consumption at all times. This results in less power consumption, while precise speed control means less wear and tear on the compressor system, resulting in longer equipment lifetimes. In environmental terms, TMC estimates that if an 18-vessel-strong LNG fleet was refitted with Smart Air compressors, it could see its emissions reduced by 1,710 tons of CO2 in a year.
Smooth sailing for Atlas Copco
Sweden’s Atlas Copco has partnered with London-based Silverstream Technologies on a fuel-saving air lubrication technology. Atlas compressors form part of the air release units positioned on a ship’s hull near the bow. This creates a ‘carpet’ of micro-bubbles that reduce drag, lowering the amount of fuel required for the vessel’s forward propulsion.
“The system relies on a constant and dependable supply of compressed air,” said Silverstream head of supply chain Stephen Potts, while the partnership itself relies on Atlas Copco’s ZS55 oil-free screw blowers to provide this compressed air supply.
As the system releases air directly into the ocean while in operation, it is important that the supply is free of pollutants, hence the choice of an oil-free system, a Silverstream release noted.
The Silverstream system has been designated an “innovative technology” under IMO’s Energy Efficiency Design Index.
Six hybrid roro vessels that will make use of the air lubrication technology were ordered by Grimaldi Group from Chinese shipyard Jinling in a deal worth more than US$400M, it was announced in April.
Burckhardt to overhaul Golar Freeze compressor
A decade ago, the first Laby-GI Compressor produced by Burckhardt Compression AG, based in Switzerland, was installed on Golar Management’s FSRU Golar Freeze, for minimum send-out (MSO) use.
Norwegian firm Golar are now preparing the 126,000 m³ FSRU for a new function that will require a revamp of the compressor, which was the first of its kind to be installed on an FSRU.
New Fortress Energy (NFE) has engaged the vessel for a 15-year charter, which will use the compressor to deliver gas to Jamaican power utility JPS, requiring an increase in the discharge gauge pressure from 45 to 65 barg.
This will require an additional compression stage with extra auxiliaries, piping and other modifications, for which Burckhardt has been contracted.
Golar vessel manager Gabriele Pipitone said: “Burckhardt Compression was proactive, available at the right time, with the right plan, the right offer and the right team.
“We are pleased to have found the perfect solution for revamping the MSO compressor.”
Golar Freeze was built in 1977 and spent just over three decades as a conventional LNG carrier before Singapore’s Keppel Shipyard converted it to an FSRU in 2010, following which it served as a receiving terminal for the Dubai Supply Authority in the port of Jebel Ali.
If the NFE charter option is taken up, it will extend the working life of Golar Freeze to its 61st year. Burckhardt’s Laby-GI compressor could be part of that life for 28 years, according to sister publication LNG World Shipping.
In its Mid-Range Plan, announced in January this year, Burckhardt targeted sales of SFr360M in its services division, with the maritime sector one of the areas picked for expansion.
“Servicing the compressors of other manufacturers is a prime growth opportunity in this business,” the plan noted, to which end the company intends to expand local and regional footprints and create service structures specifically geared towards the maritime sector.