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LNG ShipBuilding

WhO hAS GAS AND WhO WANTS iT? Cheap, abundant natural gas perfect solution for operators, both economically and environmentally


ood trucks are ubiquitous in New York City, serving up everything from grilled cheese to Korean barbeque. So what would get two billionaires excited about a food truck that serves pizza? Well, it just so happens that food truck is 100% powered by Compressed Natural Gas. The CNG-powered food truck Neapolitan Express is a partnership between Neapolitan Pizza and Clean Energy Fuels— the largest provider of natural gas to the North American transportation market. Clean Energy was founded by billionaire T. Boone Pickens. Pickens who was on hand along with fellow billionaire and New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg to unveil the new truck at a press conference last month in New York. “This is the lowest carbon-emission food truck ever built,” says Bloomberg. “It will produce three-quarters less greenhouse gases than trucks that run on diesel or gasoline and reduce fuel costs by 60%.” That’s a powerful equation for any business and one that is resonating in the marine market as well. The abundance and price of natural gas in combination with rising marine diesel oil prices and stricter environmental regulations has ignited an age of innovation in shipping. GROWING NUMBER OF LNG-FUELLED VESSELS Not including inland waterway vessels and LNG carriers, there are currently 37 LNG-fuelled vessels currently in operation, according to Kenneth Vareide, U.S. Director of Operations, DNV. Speaking at a breakfast seminar on “Future developments in maritime shipping” last month in Washington, DC, Vareide says that increasing environmental regulation is driving LNG technology development. DNV expects there to be at least 63 LNG-fuelled vessels in operation by 2015 and, says Vareide, as many as one in ten newbuilds will be built with gas engines over the next eight years, according to DNV’s study Shipping Outlook 2020. “That [projection] doesn’t include any conversion of existing vessels to burn LNG,” points out Vareide. The choices for operators are clear, says Vareide. “To meet ECA requirements, you will have to either install exhaust gas scrubbers if you operate on heavy fuel oil, burn low sulfur distillate fuel or burn LNG,” he says. By 2016, 30 to 40 percent of all newbuilds will have exhaust gas recirculation or SCR technology.

Besides supplying gas or dual fuel engines, Wärtsilä has been supplying the LNGPac system, which includes the bunkering station, LNG tank and tank room compartment, process skid, glycol-water heating unit, and the control and monitoring system

INNOVATION STARTS IN NORWAY DNV’s involvement with LNG-fuelled vessels—not including LNG carriers—dates back two decades to the DNV classed RO/ RO ferry Glutra. Using natural gas as fuel for ferries had long been a desire of Norwegian maritime authorities. What was driving the innovation was the abundance of domestic natural gas production, the environmental benefits of burning natural gas, and the idea to develop Norwegian gas technology. That led in 1995 to a test project to design and build a gas-fuelled ferry. As a result of a Norwegian parliamentary decision and funding through the Norwegian Ministry of Transportation, the LNG-powered Glutra was built and delivered in January 2000 for what was then Norway’s largest ferry operator, MRF (now part of Norway’s Fjord1 Group). Still in operation today, the 94.8m, 300-passenger/96-vehicle capacity Glutra has served as a prototype for future generations of gas-fuelled vessels. As a result of that early pioneering work with the Glutra, there will be 22 LNG-fuelled ferries in operation in Norway by 2014, according to Norway’s Deputy Minister of Trade and Industry Kristin Maurstad. She attributes some of the success to the Norwegian governMARCH 2013 MARINE LOG 29

Mar 2013 Marine Log Magazine