LNG Powered Tugs Ordered in China

By Eric Haun at March 19, 2014 15:43
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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

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