The Application of LNG as a Fuel for Medium and High Speed Ferries

By Keith Henderson at April 19, 2011 08:26
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As more and more sea areas introduce exhaust emission regulations, the Australian builder of medium and high speed ferries and other such vessels Austal Ltd, has just completed an 18 month study on the development of several new types of fast ferry.

Their study concluded that the most promising solutions for future regulations are multi-hulled ferries that comply with the High Speed Craft (HSC) code, but will run at a significantly slower speeds than present fast ferries. New HSC code compliant hull forms have been developed for slower speed operation. The use of numerical analysis and tank testing has confirmed that these new hull shapes deliver excellent performance.

Austal gives three examples of new designs using LNG as the main fuel.

The largest example is a 127 m trimaran ferry powered by twin dual fuel GE LM2500 gas turbines with each turbine driving two waterjets via a single input twin output gearbox: alternatively one waterjet per engine. The fuel tanks, LNG and diesel, are located in the center hull of the 1,000 ton ferry which has a speed of 42 kn and range of 450 nm on LNG.

A smaller 102 m trimaran ferry with a similar, center hull mounted fuel tank arrangement uses three 4 MW Wärtsilä 9L34DF dual fuel, medium speed engines running CP propellers to give a speed of 26 kn. Larger engines can offer higher speeds of 30 to 32 kn. The 600 ton ferry is also designed for a range of 450 nm.

The smallest design example is a 72 m catamaran ferry using a dual fuel diesel/LNG electric propulsion system comprising four 2.3 MW Bergen C26:33L9AG engines driving four CP propellers. There is an LNG fuel tank positioned in each hull, and the 258 ton ferry has a range of 600 nm and speed of 24 kn.


Caption: Austal 127 m trimaran ferry powered by twin gas turbines has a speed of 42 kn.
Image credit: Austal Ltd.

Caption: Austal 102 m trimaran ferry powered by three dual fuel medium speed engines has a speed of 26 kn, with larger engines up to 32 kn.
Image credit: Austal Ltd.


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