High-Tech Propulsion for Russia's Newest LNG Carrier

By Eric Haun at March 28, 2014 17:23
Filed Under: Hybrid system, LNG fuel, MAN Diesel&Turbo, Propulsion systems

Photo: MAN Diesel & Turbo

Russia’s largest shipping company, Sovcomflot Group, recently took delivery of a newbuild LNG carrier from STX Offshore & Shipbuilding. The 300m vessel, Velikiy Novgorod, is impressive for a number of reasons: it is Arctic ice-classed and has a total gas load capacity of 170,200m3, but the ship is significant most notably for its diesel-electric, dual-fuel propulsion system, which consists of two MAN 8L51/60DF and two MAN 9L51/60DF engines, offering a total rated power of 34 MW.

MAN Diesel & Turbo’s German-built, low-emission propulsion system enables the ship to burn both gas and fuel oil, supplying power to electric motors. This offers a great deal of efficiency, especially when running in gas mode, while also providing a high degree of flexibility and redundancy.

“Key drivers for dual-fuel diesel-electric (DFDE) are its fuel economy and environmental friendliness, its reliability and flexibility due to multiengine concept and safety aspect due to low pressure gas injection, as well as its flexibility in terms of fuel selection (Boil of Gas, MGO, HFO),” a spokesperson from MAN Diesel & Turbo said, adding that these advantages have helped DFDE ship propulsion become “by far the leading concept used by LNG industry.”

The multiengine plant inherently includes a built-in backup, not only offering reliability, but also full maintainability at full service speeds and any time throughout the ship’s voyage.

MAN’s spokesperson added, “DFDE propulsion concept is leading to an LNGC with low complexity, easy to operate, highest efficiency and level of safety while meeting future IMI Tier III emission standards already today.”

In accordance with emerging trend toward dual fuel and alternative fuel LNG carriers, new vessel Velikiy Novgorod is the first ship in a series of five to be built by South Korea’s STX Offshore & Shipbuilding. The ship will reportedly operate for Gazprom under a long-term time-charter agreement with Sovcomflot, while the second ship is slated for delivery in fall 2014.

MAN Diesel & Turbo said the delivery of the LNG carrier newbuilding orders fall under its strategy of expanding its environmentally friendly dual-fuel engine technology into the marine sector, noting promising opportunities ahead in the LNG market. Factors such as rising costs of liquid fuel, reduction of gas prices to due shale gas, lower CO2 and NOx emissions when burning gas, exit out of nuclear power plants and entry into gas power plants have led the company to more actively follow pursuits in the LNG market.

“Gas consumption is on the rise,” MAN’s spokesperson said, “demand for LNG carriers and LNG propelled vessels will continue to grow.” And as the world demand of LNG grows, and more LNG terminals are being planned and constructed, the demand for transportation of LNG worldwide will increase accordingly.

While working on the Sovcomflot project, MAN Diesel & Turbo utilized its experience from working on its first 51/60DF reference project, delivered in 2010 to Spanish shipping line Elcano. The Castillo de Santisteban, which features five MAN 8L51/60DF units, has been operating globally since August 2010 without one day off-hired time on worldwide LNG trades, operating everyday with full propulsion power available, MAN said.

“The experiences won by running engines on board a LNG carrier in daily operation gave us valuable input regarding life time and operating sequences,” the MAN spokesperson said. “The environmental conditions were giving us a great feedback as they vary much more as the powerplant references we have in place. For the Sovcomflot vessels we could also introduce the so called ‘fuel sharing’ where the engines can run partly on gas as fuel and partly on HFO.”


Photo: MAN Diesel & Turbo

Marine Engine Drive Couplings or Keeping Pliable Offshore Brazil

By George Backwell at March 22, 2014 00:32
Filed Under: drive systems

Drive coupling specialists Vulkan, based in Germany, is supplying both fixed and flexible drive couplings to Brazil’s home-built burgeoning offshore energy sector, and interestingly is also involved in a project to develop a nuclear-powered submarine propulsion system for the Brazil Navy.
The diesel engine beats to the sound of a pulsating drum in its cycle giving rise to shaft vibration. Secondly, slight misalignments, in connected drive shafts also need to be smoothed out, and to achieve this, flexible couplings incorporate rubber-like polymer subrstances in their design – elastomers.

Vulcan explains that compound research in its R&D facility with highly specialized vulcanization technology has led to the development of an elastomer with considerably higher power density  – the 'Acotec' compound. This new compound distinguishes itself from other conventionally used materials not only through its enhanced tensile and tear strength and increased ultimate elongation, but also through a high thermal resistance and reduced ageing.

Vulkan’s latest project was to supply highly flexible couplings for Caterpillar gensets and electric motors, as well as torsionally rigid couplings for the waterjets of six drillships built for Petrobas in a Brazilian shipyard.

Image courtesy of Vulkan

Nuclear-powered submarine project
Brazil’s ambitious plan is to have six nuclear-powered submarines out of a total fleet of no less that twenty in the long term.  The Brazil Navy is tasked to protect the nation’s vast subsea energy resources in fields located up to 350 kilometres off the coast and at a depth of over 3,000 meters. Preliminary estimates suggest that up to 100 billion barrels of oil are to be found there.

The planned nuclear submarine will displace 6,000 tonnes and be 96.6 meters in length, with construction planned to take eleven years. It will be driven by a nuclear reactor developed at the Marine Research Centre Aramar.

A land prototype for the entire drive of the nuclear submarine is currently under construction, of equal size to the drive to be built later. Once this test phase has concluded, the entire submarine will be completely assembled for testing purposes in a multiple-story building. For the drive test rig, Vulcan says it has delivered in co-operation with its Brazil and Italy subsidiaries a RATO S 731 coupling and the elastic mounts.


LNG Powered Tugs Ordered in China

By Eric Haun at March 19, 2014 15:43
Filed Under:

Image: Rolls-Royce

Rolls-Royce announced today an order from Chinese state oil company CNOOC to power Asia’s first gas powered tugs. The order includes two tugs to be built at the Zhenjiang shipyard in Jiangsu, China, with an option for two additional vessels.

This order follows the construction of Borgøy and her sister vessel, the world’s first LNG powered escort tugs (also powered by Rolls-Royce), completed in 2013.

According to Rolls-Royce, each newbuild tug will feature (like Borgøy) a pair of Rolls-Royce Bergen C26:33L9PG engines fueled purely by liquefied natural gas (LNG). Rolls-Royce also said power and propulsion systems package for each tug includes a pair of Rolls-Royce US 205 CP azimuth thrusters to ensure the tugs have rapid maneuvering and strong bollard pull capabilities.

“This order is highly significant for Rolls-Royce, CNOOC, and Zhenjiang shipyard and marks a new era for tug boat propulsion technology in China, an increasingly important market for the marine industry,” said Neil Gilliver, Rolls-Royce, President – Merchant. “Rolls-Royce is proud to be selected to power Asia’s first pure gas powered tug and to play a pivotal role in the state's focus on reducing emissions along the coasts and inland waterways.”

Gas is increasingly being used as a maritime fuel thanks largely to its environmental and financial benefits. The trend seems likely to grow in the tug market, especially when considering their primary areas of operation: near shore, where environmental regulations are most stringent and LNG bunkering is most widely available. And as regulations become even more demanding, it is expected that orts will opt for the clean, lower cost and smoke-free fuel to power tugs.

Rolls-Royce gas fuelled Bergen engines meet IMO Tier II and Tier III regulations as well as US Environmental Protection Agency rules on NOx, with a 25 percent reduction in CO2 emissions, a 80-90 percent reduction in NOx emissions and a virtual elimination of SOx emissions and particulates.

The new gas powered tugs will also feature improved fuel consumption, reduced lube oil consumption and lower maintenance costs than traditionally powered tugs.

Gilliver added, “I am convinced that with the growing popularity of LNG as a marine fuel, more operators will soon begin to opt for a cleaner, lower cost and smoke-free fuel solution to power their tugs. This order will be one of many more to come.”

M/T Borgøy

What fuel will ocean-going ships be burning 16 years down the road?

By George Backwell at March 14, 2014 22:23
Filed Under: Fuels & Lubes

Heavy fuel oil will remain the main fuel for deep sea shipping in year 2030 indicates new research from Lloyd’s Register and University College London’s Energy Institute. In a complex study involving many inter-related factors,  ‘Global Marine Fuel Trends 2030’ (GMFT 2030) limits itself to the container ship, bulk carrier/general cargo and tanker (crude & chemical/products) sectors which represent about 70% of the shipping industry’s fuel demand.

VLCC: File photo

Marine fuels considered:
Ranged from liquid fuels used today (HFO, MDO/MGO) to their bio-alternatives (bio-diesel, straight vegetable oil) and from LNG and biogas to methanol and hydrogen (derived both from methane or wood biomass) were included in the study.

Engine technologies
Included were 2 or 4-stroke diesels, diesel-electric, gas engines and fuel cell technology. Since the uptake of certain fuels is influenced by them, a wide range of energy efficiency technologies and abatement solutions (including sulphur scrubbers and Selective Catalytic Reduction for NOx emissions abatement) compatible with the examined ship types were included in the modelling.

Three scenarios applied
Shipping is the enabler of world trade – if world trade grows then so will seaborne tonne miles of cargo. The Global Merchant Trends 2030 report issued last year indicates we can expect strong growth for shipping. With emissions regulations and rising energy costs, shipping decision makers will benefit from a clearer understanding of the potential scenarios for marine fuel demand. These were:

  1. Status Quo – The world will continue its current growth momentum with some booms and busts over the next twenty years.
  2. Global Commons – A shift to concern over resource limitation and environmental degradation will see a desire for a more sustainable world being developed and fairness in wealth distribution. Governments will find common ground and accelerated economic growth, within a framework of sustainable development, which will follow.
  3. Competing Nations – States act in their own national interest. There will be little effort to forge agreement amongst governments for sustainable development and international norms. This is a self-interest and zero-sum world with a likely rise in protectionism and slower economic growth.

Brief conclusions: Fuel mix in 2030

  • Heavy fuel oil (HFO) will still be very much around in 2030, but in different proportions for each scenario: 47% in Status Quo, to a higher 66% in Competing Nations and a 58% share in Global Commons, the most optimistic of scenarios for society. A high share of HFO, of course, means a high uptake of emissions abatement technology when global emissions regulations enter into force.
  • The declining share of HFO will be offset by low sulphur alternatives (MDO/MGO or LSHFO) and by LNG, and this will happen differently for each ship type and scenario. LNG will reach a maximum 11% share by 2030 in Status Quo.
  • Interestingly, there is also the entry of Hydrogen as an emerging shipping fuel in the 2030 Global Commons scenario which favours the uptake of low carbon technologies stimulated by a significant carbon price.

To download a PDF of the report go to www.lr.org/gmft2030, hard copies can be ordered from the Lloyd’s Register Webstore at www.webstore.lr.org



Wärtsilä’s New Inline Scrubber System

By Eric Haun at March 14, 2014 11:46
Filed Under: New Technology, Scrubbers

Wärtsilä said its new inline scrubber system offers a number of “notable benefits” over conventional exhaust gas cleaning systems. Already with several ships in line for installation, the company says its new product, saves space, lowers cost and eases installation.

Important for all vessels, but particularly for smaller vessels and retrofit projects, space is of chief concern when considering engine room configuration. Add after-treatment products such as scrubber systems into the mix, and space becomes an even greater priority.

Sigurd Jenssen, Director, Exhaust Gas Cleaning, Wärtsilä Ship Power, said, “Space availability is a challenge that makes it difficult for many vessels to have exhaust gas cleaning systems installed.” That’s why Wärtsilä has placed a great deal of emphasis on compactness when designing its new inline scrubber system, which was engineered to conserve considerable (and precious) space. The company said this has already generated a lot of attention from owners and operators to its new product.

And for additional advantages, Wärtsilä claims lower cost structure of the new design offers CAPEX benefits. With only one scrubber system per engine, installation can be performed faster, consequently reduces the out-of-service time for the vessel and improving operational flexibility.

The inline scrubber system operates as a conventional Wärtsilä open loop scrubber system, but has three water inlets in the main body of the scrubber, as opposed to two in the conventional system. The exhaust flows enter from the bottom and exits at the top, with water being sprayed in three stages in a counter flow to the exhaust. A Wärtsilä designed water trap prevents the scrubbing water from entering the engine. The inline configuration can be offered on the hybrid scrubber system as well.

With a contract signed in June 2013 and installation slated for this month at FaYard in Denmark, Color Line’s high speed ferry SuperSpeed 2 will be the first vessel to utilize the new Wärtsilä inline scrubber system. The vessel, which sails twice daily between Larvik, Norway and Hirtshals, Denmark, has limitations on the available space in the funnel, Wärtsilä  said, thus making its new system a practical option.

Photo: Color Line’s SuperSpeed 2

Wärtsilä also announced additional contracts signed in September 2013 for the fitting of the new inline scrubber system to three other Color Line vessels.

The new inline scrubber system from Wärtsilä

Propeller Shaft Seals of Approval for Two Wärtsilä Systems

By George Backwell at March 08, 2014 04:10
Filed Under: Propulsion systems

Ships with Wärtsilä’s Airguard and Oceanguard propellor shaft seals have no need to change from mineral oil to a bio-degradable lubricant (formally ‘an Environmentally Acceptable Lubricant’) when they're in U.S. waters as these seals meet Vessel General Permit (VGP) requirements. How these particular propeller shaft seals comply, and more about these newish VGP amended regulations follows:

Seals,bearings and stern tube arrangement: Image courtesy of Wärtsilä

No oil-to-sea interface
Wärtsilä explain that Airguard is suited for merchant ship stern tube and thrusters, and Oceanguard for cruise, ferry and offshore stern tube, thruster and electric pod face type sealing. 

The Airguard and Oceanguard sealing systems have been designed with no oil-to-sea interface (the essential point): an air chamber or separation space within the seal captures any water or oil leakage, which is then transferred to inboard tanks for monitoring and further treatment. This stops oil drips or leakage into the sea. In the case of system failure, both systems also prevent any oil leakage. The manufacturers say that these seals are also designed to withstand abrasive waters and are compliant with all anti-pollution requirements.

Shaft seals and US Vessel General Permit (VGP)
The revised VGP came into force on 19 December 2013 and applies to non-recreational vessels that are 79 feet (24.08 meters) and greater in length in US waters. For these vessels, the VGP requires environmentally acceptable lubricants (EALs) to be used in all applications that have the potential for an "oil-to-sea" interface (which, as mentioned above, Airguard and Oceanguard seals do not have). The VGP states that oil-to-sea interfaces include any mechanical or other equipment where seals or surfaces may release small quantities of oil into the sea.

The most relevant components are the stern tube, rudder bearings, CP propellers, thrusters and fin stabilisers. However, any ship components that can potentially cause the leakage of lubricants into the sea are in principle to be considered according to the VGP.

Although environmentally preferable, EALs may have some major disadvantages. The most important one, according to classification society DNV GL, is that many conventional rubber (seal) materials are not compatible with the new EALs. Such lubricants will also absorb more water than mineral oils, so water control (i.e. sticking to the recommendation of the EAL supplier) becomes important to maintain lubrication capacity and keep the risk of corrosion and bacteria growth under control. Understandably, technical superintendents will rejoice if they have in place one of the Wärtsilä propeller shaft seals mentioned here.

For detailed information on the revised VGP visit:http://1.usa.gov/1diKHeL

Water Jets Bring Safety for Offshore Wind

By Eric Haun at March 07, 2014 11:32
Filed Under: Offshore, Workboats

Rolls-Royce said today in a press announcement that it will supply water jets for three wind farm support vessels, (one 24-meter and two 26-meter aluminum catamarans) to be built by South Boats IOW for the offshore wind transfer vessel operator Seacat Services.

Rolls-Royce labeled the contract as “one of the biggest orders made for wind farm workboats,” and all three newbuilds will feature two Rolls-Royce 56A3 stainless steel water jets as well as Rolls-Royce’s new compact control system tailored to suit owners’ requirements and reduce build/installation times.

The new wind farm workboats will include MTU 12V 2000 engines which will power the catamarans to speeds of up to 30 knots. Once in operation, the catamarans will be used for people and cargo transfers to the growing number of offshore wind farms around the coast of Europe.

When factoring the water jets’ properties into the vessels’ overall design, the propulsion system contributes a safety element needed especially when transferring crew and equipment onto turbine structures. According to Rolls-Royce, “water jet technology offers a combination of speed, efficiency and excellent maneuverability for these vessels, which will regularly operate in challenging sea conditions with strong winds and currents.”

“Reliability and performance are of utmost importance in our industry and are how all vessels are measured, which is why we choose Rolls-Royce water jet units,” said Ben Colman, Sales & Marketing Manager, Alicat Workboats Ltd. & South Boats IOW Ltd., “With the A3-series we have found excellent performance with speeds higher than predicted with excellent fuel efficiency as a result.”

Coleman mentioned that the A-3 series’ reliability has led his company to fit some 20 Rolls-Royce water jet units over the last few years.


Image courtesy Rolls-Royce

Rugged Engines Power New Gulf of Mexico Beauty

By George Backwell at February 28, 2014 22:26
Filed Under: Marine Diesel Engines, Offshore

American shipbuilders rarely deliver a ship that’s built for heavy duty offshore rig supply work that also turns heads, but a recent delivery from Houma, Louisiana-based New Generation Shipbuilding is already doing just that with the new 171-ft ‘Mr. Ernie’.

OSV Mr. Ernie: Photo credit: Cummins Hotips/Alan Haig-Brown

This striking vessel was built for same-name owner Ernie Vicknair and his partner Joe Gregory for rig support work in the Gulf of Mexico.  According to Cummins Hotips, credit for the distinctive super-structure design goes to Incat-Crowther, although the design and engineering support team also included Parfait Maritime; Mino Marine LLC; and Farrell & Norton Naval Architects. The outcome of their collective effort contradicts the old saw that if you want to kill any idea in the world set a committee to work on it.

Propulsion power
A pair of Cummins K38M Tier 2 diesels deliver a total of 2000 HP through Twin Disc MGX-5321 gears to 72x65-inch Bird Johnson 4-blade propellers to give the vessel a respectable and economical 13-Knot service speed.

K38M Tier 2 diesel (installed elsewhere)
Photo credit
: Cummins Hotips/Alan Haig-Brown

Cummins explain that this engine is an upgrade of their rugged KTA38-M0 turbo-charged and after-cooled engine to fill a much needed gap in the market for durable, reliable power designed for use in areas covered under U.S. EPA Tier 2 and EU Stage IIIA emissions regulations. The 38 liter, V-12 K38-M Tier 2 has the same footprint, mount, ratings and optional equipment similar as the previous engine and thus installation is simplified.

Emissions compliance is achieved by minor modifications in air handling and fueling, adjustments to timing and the addition of low temperature after-cooling. The engine also features the proven simple mechanical Cummins PT fuel system enhanced by CENTRY electronic governing, making it one of the few high horsepower Tier 2 certified engines with a mechanically controlled fuel system.

Cummins also supplied a 350 HP QSM11 engine to power the Bruvoil bow thruster (DP1 class vessel) and a pair of ABS-rated QSM11 powered 300 kW gensets meet electrical needs.

General layout
The raised focsle deck extends well forward and right to the side-shell allows for roomy accommodations with bunks and mess room for 32 people. This provides a variety of 6, 4 and 2-person cabins for the four crew-members and 28 other workers. At the same time, the aft deck provides an impressive 112 by 30 feet of clear cargo space with a 375 LT capacity.

Below deck there is extensive tankage including dual-purpose tanks for fuel or liquid mud.. In addition to a dedicated 13,460 US-gallon potable water tank, there is also a 92,328-gallon ballast or potable water tank. This will give the supply vessel great flexibility with a total deadweight of 707 LT.


Damen delivered special Shoalbuster Smit Lamnalco

By Peter Pospiech at February 27, 2014 04:00
Filed Under: Company News, drive systems, Shipyards, Workboats

The recently delivered ‘SL Mbissi’ will be the next Damen-built vessel in fleet of Smit Lamnalco. Nevertheless, the 25 metre shallow water workship is special in more ways than one: It’s the first-ever Damen Shoalbuster for Smit Lamnalco.
Although Smit Lamnalco, leading provider of integrated marine services, already deploys a lot of Damen-built vessels – six of which having been delivered in the past 15 months alone – it had yet to order a Damen Shoalbuster SD. The series’ name is a poetic licence to ‘shallow draught’ (SD).
Standard turned bespoke
The ‘SL Mbissi’ was built at Damen Shipyards Hardinxveld (the Netherlands) which also designs all Damen Multi Cat and Shoalbuster ‘jack of all trades’ workships series. The SBu 2508 SD is also special in that it is a standard design turned tailor-made vessel.

“We sought a draught not exceeding 1.80 metres, to cope with a bar in the vessel’s operational area”, Smit Lamnalco’s CTO Rick Maliepaard says. “The shipyard’s engineering added a good metre to their 23.8 metre long standard design and suggested lighter main engines, to get the draught down (or up if you will). It has taken a minimum 20 centimetres off the standard 2308 SD’s draught, whilst still maintaining a truly potent 19.7 tonne bollard pull.”
According to Damen it is “changing a proven standard design into a bespoke, ‘made-to-measure’ vessel”. The basic functions will be: Towing, mooring, pushing, anchor handling, dredge support
Smit Lamnalco will mainly deploy the versatile Shoalbuster for marine support services for offshore oil facilities. This will include buoy maintenance and hose handling.
Main characteristics of the Damen Shoalbuster 2508 SD:
• Length o.a.         24.82 m (2508)
• Width                8,00 m (2508)
• Draught             1.80 m
• Bollard pull        19.7 tonnes
• Speed               11 knots
• Propulsion         1,000 kW at 2,100 rpm from 2 Caterpillar C18 ACERT main engines, via 2x Reintjes WAF 264 gearboxes 
 2 fixed pitch propellers from Promarin  with 1400 mm diameter in 2 x DMC Optima nozzles
 1 x 125 bhp electrically driven bowthruster.
• Deck equipment    Feat. electrical towing winch 200m 40mm, 30t 6,5m/min and 9,5t 24m/min. Brake 50t.
• Accommodation    6 persons.

Classification has been done by  Bureau Veritas with class notation:
I + HULL * MACH Tug Unrestricted navigation, AUT UMS. IWS

image: courtesy of Damen

World’s largest Bilobe-Liquid Gas Storage Tanks

Sinopacific builds cargo tanks for 9.686 cubic meter with BV-ClassThe future of the Natural Gas Shipping keeps a majority of the shipping industry busy. Again and again new equipment and machinery is developed. Such as in China. At present there arise the largest Bilobe-Liquid Gas Storage tanks.
They are nearing completion at China’s Sinopacific yard and will be installed in a series of four 27,500 cu m semi-refrigerated LNG/Ethylene carriers building for Denmark’s Shipping Company Evergas. Each of the IMO Type C Bilobe tanks has a capacity of 9,686 cu m. Two of the tanks in each vessel will be supplemented by a third conical Type C cargo tank and a smaller LNG fuel tank on the deck of the vessels. International classification society Bureau Veritas is classing the world’s largest Bilobe-Gas Tanks.

9,686 cu m bilobe Type C LNG tanks building at Sinopacifi​c for Denmark's Evergas and classed by Bureau Veritas

According to Bureau Veritas, these tanks are pushing at the frontier of small scale LNG transportation. They build on experience with ethylene transportation and can carry LPG or LNG at five bar pressure. That allows for the development of flexible ships which will meet the demands of the new LNG trades which are constantly emerging.
Ralph Juhl, Vice President, Evergas, said: “Our new ships have to work in the roughest seas in the world so we wanted to build them tough and without a lot of deck clutter and exposed systems. These Bilobe-Tanks enable us to have a flat main deck and they give us much better carrying capacity compared to cylindrical tanks in the same size ship,” he continues: “The vessels’ stability and damage stability was also a matter of additional efforts on the drawing board.”
Evergas is building the ships at Sinopacific to BV class for 2015 delivery to service the trade between Marcus Hook, Philadelphia and Rafnes in Norway.

images: courtesy of Evergas

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