Natural Gas on the rise for Japan’s Workboats

NYK to Build Japan's First Natural Gas-Fueled Tug
NYK will build a tugboat featuring a dual fuel engine that can be powered by either Natural Gas, which will be stored as LNG, or heavy fuel oil. Other than LNG carriers, this tugboat will be the first building in Japan of a Natural Gas-fueled vessel.

NYK has enhanced its initiatives to mitigate environmental loads through the practical realization of environment-responsive technologies such as solar-powered systems and air-lubrication systems. In 2011, NYK established a team in the company’s Fuel Group to research next-generation fuel alternatives to heavy oil, and looked into building a Natural Gas-fueled vessel with the cooperation of Nippon Kaiji Kyokai and others, based on the results of a survey conducted by the Japan Railway Construction, Transport and Technology Agency. Natural Gas received attention as a possible alternative to heavy oil because NG does not emit any SOX and produces far less CO2 and NOX compared to heavy oil. In fact, using NG as a fuel will cut this tugboat’s emissions of CO2 by about 30%, NOX by about 80%, and SOX by 100% compared to using heavy oil.

This project will be subsidized by Japan’s Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry and Japan’s Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism. Tokyo Gas Co. Ltd., with its head office in Tokio, will supply the LNG, and with the support of Tokyo Gas, NYK will make arrangements for a safe LNG supply system.

The intended new building will feature twin engines with twin azimuth pods.
According to the NYK Group this will not be the first and only ship in the future in Japan which is powered by alternative fuels to mitigate environmental loads by vessels.

Graphs: courtesy of NYK


3D Printer Builds Subsea Marine Turbine

By George Backwell at December 28, 2013 02:01
Filed Under: General

Three-dimensional printing makes it as cheap to create single items as it is to produce thousands and thus undermines the principle of manufacturing economies of scale. Application of the technology offers enormous benefit to the marine industry, allowing a swathe to be cut through the spare part supply-chain at the very least, perhaps eventually to take the place of some production processes; but in the meantime it has established a firm foothold in model-making, as will be seen below where the technology produced a subsea tidal turbine.

3D Z Printer 850: Photo courtesy of 3D Systems

For those unfamiliar with the process, 3D printing works by converting 3D CAD engineering drawings into solid objects from nylon powder using laser melting. The object is built, layer by layer, with each layer the thickness of a human hair, and allows designers and engineers to create complex and lightweight parts rapidly.

Rapid prototyping, or 3D printing, (seen as the third industrial revolution in manufacturing) is now widely accepted as a modern product design tool, which provides greater design freedom, faster design process, more efficient materials usage and tool-less manufacturing.

Researchers in Engineering and the Environment at the UK’s University of Southampton have embraced the techniques and have already produced a number of world firsts, including the world's first 3D printed model plane and the first fully rapid prototyped air vehicle, the ASTRA (Atmospheric Science through Robotic Aircraft) Atom, to enable low cost observations of the physical parameters of the atmosphere. Meanwhile, back down on earth, a designer and manufacturer of deep-sea tidal stream electricity generating systems, Ireland’s OpenHydro were wanting a completely accurate scale model of one of its ‘Ocean-Centre’ turbines and turned to a specialist UK 3D printing solutions provider, Ogle Models & Prototypes.

The model-makers explain that turbines are notoriously complex – the engineering and manufacturing requirements are extensive – and this was no less the case for the intricacies of the model that OpenHydro requested from them. While the CAD data that OpenHydro supplied was simplified to a certain degree, the complexities of the design had to be accurately reflected in the fine details of the scaled down model.

3D Marine Turbine model: Image courtesy of Ogle

Ogle’s initial brief from OpenHydro was to produce a 1:43 scale static block model, including specific colour and visual effects and they chose the selective laser sintering (SLS) process as the most capable, durable and cost-effective process for producing a model of this nature and size, which they did remarkably quickly.

Summing up this project, Alan Buggy, Mechanical Design Engineer at OpenHydro commented: “The Ocean-Centre [turbine] model was manufactured and delivered within our deadline, which was not generous to Ogle, but beyond that, compared with any of the other models we had purchased before it was far superior — in terms of the level of detail, the finish and value for money.”


New Natural Gas driven Ferry for Helgoland Service

By Peter Pospiech at December 26, 2013 04:00
Filed Under: Company News, drive systems, Ferries, LNG fuel, Shipyards

Shipping Company Cassen Eils, Cuxhaven, part of AG Ems shipping company, has charged shipyard Fassmer GmbH, Berne, to build a new innovative ferry which is intended to do service between Cuxhaven, maybe also Hamburg, and the Island of Helgoland. It is the first new build of the company which will feature natural gas propulsion. The new ferry features a special designed hull, with this the vessel will have very special sea-keeping characteristics. The ships length is of 79,90 m, it’s width is of 12,40 m and the depth is of 3,60 m. A dynamical stabilizer system supports comfort on board the vessel.

The still existing HELGOLAND will be taken out of service in 2015 when the "Green Ship" with gas propulsion is ready

The ship can carry 1.000 passengers. The state-of-the-art passenger area features an open atrium with a glass elevator, several decks, large gastronomy, spacious sun-decks and a sky-bar. A Cargo compartment carries cargo of all kinds. Additional cargo space allows up to ten 10 foot container to stow.
The propulsion concept is based on two dual-fuel engines, two gears with PTO / PTI, four lean-burn gas auxiliary engines, one LNG-tank with regasification system. With this the ship will have a maximum speed of 20 kn. The vessel will be built under supervision of Germanischer Lloyd and features class notation of: 100 A5 E RSA (50) PASSENGER SHIP EU + MC E AUT GF, and navigates under the German Flag.
Cassen Eils particularly highlights the fact that the ship will be designed according to the regulations of the Ministry of Environmental Protection and will feature the Environmental Certification “Blauer Engel”. Green Shipping with Blue Angel Award: The eco-label – (RAL-ZU 141) is the environmental ship design.The oldest eco-labeling of Europe and challenging maritime emission permit at all. Sponsor: the United Nations. By this eco-label harmful emissions and deposition into the sea, as well as in the air, are minimized.

The eco-label "Blue Angel" for Environmental Ship Design

Image/graph: Shipping Company Cassen Eils

GL publishes new Guidelines for Compliance with MLC 2006 Noise and Vibration Requirements

By Peter Pospiech at December 24, 2013 04:00
Filed Under: General

The guidelines, which define quantitative assessment criteria and standardized measurement methodologies, came into force on 1 November 2013.   GL has published new guidelines for compliance with MLC 2006 Noise and Vibration Requirements.  The MLC 2006 sets minimum standards addressing the on-board working and living conditions of seafarers. These regulations are subject to the implementation into national laws. The title 3 of the MLC 2006 on ‘Accommodation, recreational facilities, food and catering’ addresses issues related to the construction and design of seafarer accommodation and the characteristics of the ambient environment which seafarers are exposed to during work, rest and recreation. These include some rather general requirements regarding noise and vibration.

Ear protection in the engine compartment is absolutely mandatory on board vessels

The MLC 2006 does not clearly define a measurement methodology and limit values for noise and vibration and leaves this up to the Flag States during their implementation of the Convention. However several Flag States did not determine quantitative ambient factors in their national legislation during their implementation of the MLC 2006 in this respect.  The objective of the guidelines is to provide ship owners and yards with an alternative basis for demonstrating compliance relating to noise and vibration and to ensure clearness regarding the compliance with the Convention by defining quantitative assessment criteria and standardized measurement methodologies. In addition it defines unified requirements and the related approval process for service suppliers performing noise and vibration measurements within the framework. Firms providing measurements which are used for the issuance of MLC 2006 Noise and Vibration Certificate of Compliance need an approval by GL.

image: PPM News Service Archive

Methanol Fuel Niche Filled by Flex-Fuel MAN Engine

By George Backwell at December 20, 2013 23:32
Filed Under: LPG, Methanol Fuel, Marine Diesel Engines

The new MAN B&W ME-LGI dual fuel engine which can burn sustainable fuels has been chosen by Vancouver-based Waterfront Shipping for a series of 50,000 dwt methanol carriers. The engines exploit a fraction of the cargo as fuel to run on 95% methanol ignited by 5% pilot oil. MAN Diesel & Turbo officially designates the ME-LGI engine ‘ME-B9.3-LGI’ (LGI stands for Liquid Gas Injection).

Ole Grøne, Senior Vice President – Low Speed Promotion & Sales – MAN Diesel & Turbo, said: “This order represents a real market breakthrough for our Liquid Gas Injection engine and is the first such, commercial project that is not reliant on external funding. Simply put, the ME-LGI engine was chosen for these carriers because it is the engine best suited to the application. The LGI engine is designed to handle low-flash- point, low-sulphur fuels like LPG and methanol, etc. Consequently, its green credentials are striking with emissions of sulphur being almost completely eliminated.”

A Waterfront Shipping Vessel: Image courtesy of the owners

Waterfront Shipping, a wholly owned subsidiary of Methanex Corporation, is a global marine  transportation company specialising in the transport of bulk chemicals and clean petroleum products. With the growing demand for cleaner marine fuel to meet environmental regulations coming into effect in Northern Europe and other regions, methanol is a promising alternative fuel for ships.

About the Electronic LGI Engine
The working principle of the GI engine is similar to that of its traditional two-stroke diesel counterpart, but with the combustion process based on a high air surplus and a high-pressure gas injection system. The engine is a large-bore Mark 9 engine (introduced by MAN in 2006) with an ultra-long stroke.

ME-GI dual-fuel low-speed engine: Image courtesy MAN Diesel & Turbo

Having a longer stroke results in a lower rpm optimum engine speed which in turn allows the use of a larger propeller and is thus significantly more efficient in terms of engine propulsion. Together with an optimised engine design, fuel consumption and CO2 emissions are reduced.

GI engine control and safety is handled by an add-on unit to the proven ME engine control system. In the main, modified parts in a GI engine are double-walled high-pressure gas pipes; a gas valve control block with internal accumulator on the (slightly modified) cylinder cover; gas injection valves and electronic gas injection (ELGI) valves to control the amount of gas injected.

MAN Diesel & Turbo says it is working towards an exhaust gas emission Tier lll compliant ME-LGI version.



Thruster monitor reduces downtimes and increases productivity

By Peter Pospiech at December 20, 2013 12:19
Filed Under: Azimuth pod, Company News, drive systems, Propulsion systems

Condition Monitoring Technologies (CMT) GmbH, Germany, has developed a flexible thruster monitor for the marine and offshore industry whose aim is to predict failures at the earliest possible stage, thus avoiding costly unplanned repairs, adjustments and downtimes, the German company said. In the modern shipping and offshore industry, unplanned thruster repairs and adjustments - both in dry dock and in situ - always lead to enormous costs, loss of productivity and decreased competitiveness. CMT has developed a unique flexible thruster monitor that ensures that any damage, wear or necessary adjustments are identified immediately, allowing preventative action to be taken. The CMT thruster monitor system is unique in that it provides real-time feedback on a whole range of both oil and vibration parameters, providing unparalleled comprehensive control and security. The fully automated system is said to be ideal for both new- buildings and retrofits as it can be easily combined with any existing thruster and ship management systems to create a single easy-to-use master system.

Avoid unnecessary changes of the thruster

According to CMT, it serves as a reliable early-warning system that ensures cost-effective operations by extending the intervals between class surveys, thus reducing dry-docking times and increasing the availability of ships and rigs. The CMT thruster monitor is designed for propulsion and positioning thrusters (tunnel and azimuth thrusters). It can be used for all brands and types of thruster, and comprises a fully modular system providing tailor-made solutions for all individual requirements, the company said. The system helps ship and rig operators to meet the CBM (condition-based maintenance) requirements specified by classification societies, and allows proactive maintenance and operational decisions based on actual thruster condition. According to the company it provides on-screen trending of all parameters and can be remotely accessed at all times using a standard internet connection.

Source/image: courtesy of CMT

Naming ceremony of German Navy frigate “Baden-Württemberg”

By Peter Pospiech at December 17, 2013 06:40
Filed Under: Company News, drive systems, General, Navy News, Shipyards

The  first  of  a  total  of  four  125  Class  frigates  for  the  German  Navy  has been christened  on Dec. 12, 2013, “Baden-Württemberg”  at  a  naming ceremony  by Gerlinde Kretschmann, wife of the Baden-Württemberg State Premier, at  the  Hamburg  site  of  ThyssenKrupp  Marine  Systems  –  a  company  of ThyssenKrupp Industrial Solutions.  For TKMS this is an important milestone in the construction program for the F125 Class frigates. The delivery of this first frigate is scheduled for November 2016. The order for the four ships is worth around €2 billion in total.  
ThyssenKrupp Marine Systems heads the ARGE F125 consortium which was awarded the contract to build a total of four F125 Class ships for the German Navy in 2007. The ARGE F125 consortium also includes the Friedrich  Lürssen  shipyard  in  Bremen,  which  is  building  the  ships  in  cooperation  with  Blohm+Voss Shipyards in Hamburg.

F125 class frigate

The  four  125  Class  frigates  will  replace  the  German  Navy’s  eight  (Bremen  type)  122  Class  frigates.  The ships  were  developed  specially  for  current  and  future  deployment  scenarios  for  the  German  Navy.  In addition to  the  traditional  tasks  of  national  and  alliance  defense,  the  125  Class  frigates  are  designed  for conflict prevention, crisis management and intervention/stabilization operations in the international arena. The  ships  are  capable  of  remaining  at  sea  for  24  months  and  thus  represent  the  first  realization  of  the intensive  use  concept,  i.e.  significantly increased  availability  in  the  deployment  region.  This  capability  is supported  by  a  much  smaller  crew  and  a  two-crew  strategy  which  permits  a  complete  change  of  crew during deployment. 

The F125-class is officially classified as frigates but in size they are comparable to destroyers, since, with a displacement of around 7,100 tons, they will be the biggest class of frigates worldwide.
The frigates are fitted with a combined diesel electric and gas (CODLAG) electrical propulsion system with a 20MW General Electric LM 2500 gas turbine, four MTU 20V 4000 diesel engines providing 3,015 kW each (total 12,06 MW) and two Siemens electric motors providing 4,5 MW each (total 9MW), which gives the ship a max speed of 26 kn.

Image: PPM News Service

Graph: courtesy of TKMS


New Mobile PowerShip Will do What it Says on the Tin

By George Backwell at December 14, 2013 03:34
Filed Under: General, LNG fuel

The Mobile Powership will be the world’s first floating electricity generating station powered by LNG, capable of  travelling from one place to another to supply power wherever it’s needed. Not only is the PowerShip a smart solution to the surging (and often unmet) demand for electricity in developing countries, but the mobile power plant can play a vital role in natural disaster relief as well.

PowerShip Rendering courtesy of HHI

This unique vessel is being developed following recent signature of a Memorandum of Understanding by Polaris Shipping, Korea Midland Power, Hyundai Heavy Industries (HII) and Siemens Energy Solutions. The aim is to install an efficient, environmentally friendly power generating plant onto a  FSRU (Floating Storage Regasification Unit) which apparently has never before been attempted.

The consortium, which will invest US$940-million in the enterprise,  expects that the Mobile PowerShip will be ready to begin its operation by December 2017. The vessel will integrate the LNG FSRU first designed and built by Hyundai, with a 880 MW combined-cycle unit; a project which will demand the best of a combination of inputs by naval architects and plant engineering designers.

Dr. Rochus Bergmann, CEO of Siemens commented: “…  synergy between Siemens’ engineering know-how and Hyundai Heavy Industries’ world class shipbuilding technology will create a state-of-the-art offshore combined cycle power plant.”

Hyperaccuracy demanded
Interestingly, HII say it is using advanced 3D technology to meet increased demands for exactness of measurement in its offshore plant construction sector. The system, developed by the South Korean shipbuilder, uses light wave distance measurement with a 3D scanner to make a stereoscopic image which it then automatically compares to a 3D blueprint for error detection.

Offshore Shipbuilding Precision Measurement: Image courtesy HHI

The system projects about a million laser beams per second in 3 mm terms to the offshore plant for its stereoscopic image. Through this technology complete imaging of the plant is obtained more quickly and more accurately than through the original light wave measuring system.

An additional benefit of using the system (dubbed by HII ‘3D Smart Precision Management System’) is that error measuring time is reduced from ten hours to two hours per plant, which improves productivity no end. Another benefit is that problems can be prevented prior to assembling any two structures by running a simulation and spotting any possible errors, however small they might be.



Mega Shipyard with 4000 meters wharf length

By Peter Pospiech at December 12, 2013 04:00
Filed Under: Company News, General, Ports, Shipyards

Sembmarine Integrated Yard@Tuas will expand its service for ships of all sizes with seven drydocks
Sembmarine Integrated Yard in Tuas has now officially opened its service. Singapore’s Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong inaugurated in a ceremony on 6. November the yard facilities. 1100 guests participated at this event. Since 2009 Sembcorp Marine Group with their five daughter companies – Sembawang Shipyard, Jurong Shipyard, SOME, PPL and Jurong SML – built already in this extensive project. Leading managers of the Hamburg based Peter Gast Shipping GmbH and Zoepffel&Schneider GmbH participated at this event as well. Jurong Shipyard, which has been already represented by Peter Gast Shipping since 1984 is now able to offer additional four drydocks in Tuas. Sembawang is represented by Zoepffel&Schneider.

The first phase of the new huge yard complex recently has been inaugurated

Sembawang Integrated Shipyard (yard@tuas) is the biggest yard in Singapore, not only for repairs of all kinds – even for the biggest container vessels – but also for modifications as well as new buildings and repair in the off-shore market. The company started its service on 5. August 2013. With the docks YST D1, YST D2, YST D3 and YST D4 the company benefits from a wharf length in total of 4000 meters.
The first phase of the 220 ha project is finished and the four super-docks are already in operation. The yard is used by all five Sembcorp Members equally. The 220-hectare new yard will be built in three phases. Phase I of the new yard spans 73.3 hectares with Phase II at 34.5 hectares and the balance in Phase III. The state-of-the-art new yard facility is designed to maximise operational synergy, production efficiency and critical mass with optimised docking and berthing facilities, an improved dock and quay ratio, a centralised work-efficient layout and integrated facilities. According the company this will sharpen the yards competitive edge to achieve greater productivity and efficiency to deliver innovative, value-added and cost-efficient solutions to their customers.
To maximise the waterfront coverage in Singapore, the yard is configured with three finger piers and a basin ranging from 210m to 400m with maximum draft from 9m to 15m, allowing for ultra deepwater semi-submersible rigs and cruise vessels to be berthed without restrictions in the new yard.

Image / graph: courtesy of Zoepffel&Schneider

Fiercer environmental legislations as of 2015 depress shipping

By Peter Pospiech at December 10, 2013 04:00
Filed Under: Fuels & Lubes, General, New Technology, Scrubbers

Trade fears cost increase – Shipping owner under considerable pressure

Shipping traffic on North- and Baltic Sea becomes notable more environmentally friendly as of 2015 – and could just generate significant cost increases also in other segments.
The allowed amount of ships sulfur emission drops to a maximum of one tenth of the previous amount. In addition also less nitrogen oxides and particulate matters are allowed. This is of the benefit to the environment, because the maritime traffic is a huge burden for the sensitive marine ecosystem and the air quality along the coast line. But due to the more stringent regulations a series of negative consequences will follow in other areas.
About 4.000 vessels are in regular service on the North- and Baltic Sea (SECA areas). Shipping owners have the possibility to fulfil these regulations by using expensive sulfur free fuels or they install afterwards scrubber systems in their ships.

Container vessels with black trail of smoke - expensive scrubber can provide a remedy

14 month before the relevant date the following can be seen: up to a small number the most will decide to use sulfur free fuel. Unifeeder Manager Timm Niebergall says: “The most of the owner cannot afford to install the expensive scrubber systems”. Such a system cost at a minimum around EUR 1,5 million. In addition, after years of the crisis owners do not get bank loans for such investments. On top of this: there are too many feeder ships in this particular area.
For the large vessels, which are running between Europe and Asia, exist no adequate tradedable desulfurization technology, which means that for new buildings scrubber systems will be installed.
That means, that year after next, the European market for Diesel fuel will increase. Cruise ships and freighter on North- and Baltic Sea will not any longer use heavy fuel because of the poor quality. They need similar fuels like trucks, aircrafts, oil heating systems and Diesel cars. The result is finally: a drastically price increase per ton. A company speaker of Hapag Lloyd said recently: “The low sulfur limit values end definitely in higher prices which we will forward to our customers”.
But the mineral industry in Germany play down the issue: “We have already invested in the new technology to change heavy fuel into better and environmentally friendly products”.

We certainly will watch the market and inform our reader

Image: PPM News Service Archiv

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