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Rolls-Royce To Deliver World’s First 100% LNG-Powered Tugboat

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By gCaptain Staff On January 12, 2012

Rolls-Royce Marine has signed a contract to deliver highly efficient engines and propulsion systems for the world’s first Liquid Natural Gas (LNG) powered tugs.

The two vessels have been ordered by Norwegian company Buksér og Berging AS and will enter service in late 2013 for Statoil, the international energy company, and Gassco, the operator of the gas transportation network off the Norwegian coast.

Robert Løseth, Rolls-Royce, Senior VP – Merchant, Propulsion Systems and Engines said:

This is a breakthrough for our Bergen gas engines and cutting edge propulsion technology. The choice our customer has made highlights the industry leading engine performance, fuel consumption and low methane emissions that Rolls-Royce can offer, which is now being applied to tugs.

LNG powered ship azimuth drive rolls royce
In addition to two gas engines and a single LNG tank, Rolls-Royce will deliver a mechanical direct driven azimuth propulsion system for each tug that will provide the quickest response time for manoeuvring; which is critically important for tug operators. The combined power and propulsion system will also enable the lowest possible fuel consumption in all operating modes. Rolls-Royce will also provide automation and control systems for the two escort vessels.

Commercial Director at Buksér og Berging AS, Vetle Sverdrup said:

We wanted to base the design of the new tugs on the spark ignition lean burn engine concept, and the ability to accommodate direct drive in addition to a low emission profile. The propulsion system on high performance escort tugs needs to accommodate rapid load pick up over the entire load range. Due to the above we chose to work closely with Rolls-Royce on this project

The scope of supply for Rolls-Royce in this contract is:

  • 2x US35 Aquamaster
  • 2x Bergen C6 Ing engines, mechanical drive
  • RR Acon control and monitoring for gas system
  • 1x AGA Cryo LNG tank with LNG system based on two coldboxes

The LNG system is designed by AGA Cryo and integrated with the Rolls-Royce propulsion system. This single tank LNG system has got full gas redundancy approved by NMD (Norwegian Maritime Directorate) i.e. no diesel back up is required.

Operational Benefits:

  • Cleaner engine room
  • Less waste oil and no “switch over” problems
  • Easier to service
  • Less maintenance required

The gas engines can operate on low load with out any restriction and have a very quick and step less ramp up time from 0 to 100% load.

Bunkering:
The fuel system is designed for weekly bunkering intervals and the bunkering time is estimated to be 45 minutes. Bunkering will be carried out by the ship’s crew.

Nox emissions are lower at low engines loads, which are the reverse trend of most diesel engines, making it the optimal solution for tugs which are spending most of the time at lower engine loads.

Environmental Benefits Of Spark Ignited Gas Engines:

  • 92% reduced NOx emission
  • 17% reduced GHG emission
  • 98-100% reduced SOx emission
  • 98% reduced particulates
  • No oil spill during bunkering
  • No oil spill in ship engine room bilges
  • No sludge from purifiers
  • No FO waste-/leak oil
  • No FO oil spill, reduced Fire Risk
  • Long-term compliance with local port regulations and potential benefits from taxation/green port dues
  • Compliant with Tier III regulations

The vessels are designed by Buksér og Berging AS together with Marin Design AS in Kolvareid, Norway. The project was developed in close contact with Rolls-Royce giving Rolls-Royce a unique opportunity to understand and adhere to operational requirements. The vessels have the following specifications:

  • Loa:    35.00m
  • Lpp:    30,54m
  • Bm:     15.40m
  • Draft:   7.50m
  • Accommodation for 7 persons

Related Articles:

  1. Rolls-Royce wins contract to power fuel efficient ferries
  2. PaxOcean orders two Rolls-Royce designed offshore vessels
  3. Rolls-Royce to power ten Littoral Combat Ships for the U.S Navy
  4. Carnival Cruise Lines awarded $24M in lawsuit against Rolls Royce
  5. Rolls-Royce and Bestway unveil new energy efficient ship designs

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Norway: STX OSV Delivers Platform Supply Vessel to Solstad

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Solstad Offshore ASA (SOFF) has today taken delivery of “Normand Arctic” from STX OSV AS, Langsten. “Normand Arctic” is a large LNG fuelled plat­form supply vessel (PSV).

The vessel will be trading in the North Sea for Statoil for a firm period of 3 months with additional 5 montly options.

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USA: Wartsila, Shell Ink Cooperation Deal to Promote LNG as Marine Fuel

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Wärtsilä, the marine industry’s leading solutions provider, and Shell Oil Company have signed a Joint Co-operation Agreement aimed at promoting and accelerating the use of liquefied natural gas (LNG) as a marine fuel. The agreement was signed in August 2011 and will run for several years.

Supplies of low cost, low emissions LNG fuel will be made available to Wärtsilä natural gas powered vessel operators, and other customers by Shell. The Joint Cooperation Agreement will focus first on supplies from the US Gulf Coast, and then later expand their efforts to cover a broader geographical range.

Gas fuelled marine engines are seen as being a logical means for ship owners and operators to comply with increasingly stringent environmental legislation. This agreement aims at increasing and easing the availability of natural gas for marine engine use, as well as developing the supply chain and infrastructure to facilitate the bunkering of LNG fuel. The two companies will jointly move these developments to marine markets in order to enhance its rapid introduction and use.

Wärtsilä has been at the forefront in the development of dual-fuel engine technology, allowing the same engine to be operated on both gas and diesel fuel. This dual-fuel capability means that when running in gas mode, the environmental impact is minimized since nitrogen oxides (NOx) are reduced by some 85 percent compared to diesel operation, sulphur oxide (SOx) emissions are completely eliminated as gas contains no sulphur, and emissions of CO2 are also lowered. Natural gas has no residuals, and thus the production of particulates is practically non-existent.

In addition to the environmental benefits that LNG fuel offers, the shipping industry is increasingly looking to gas as a means of reducing operating costs. With fossil fuel prices, and especially the cost of low carbon marine fuel, likely to continue to escalate, gas is an obvious economic alternative. In promoting gas propulsion, the two companies aim at reducing client risk, thereby accelerating market demand.

It’s an exciting time for the industry to have Shell, a major player, committed to increasing the availability of clean natural gas as a marine fuel. The marine community is becoming increasingly aware of the benefits provided by Wärtsilä natural gas engines as a means of reducing both costs and the environmental footprint. Natural gas engines represent a rare win-win, capturing emissions reduction and operational savings,” says Christoph Vitzthum, Group Vice President, Wärtsilä Services.

Drawing from decades of experience in the development and application of natural gas engines for both the power generation and marine industries, Wärtsilä is the global leader in this advanced technology. “Clean, safe natural gas represents a true shipping paradigm shift; years ago it was sail to steam, then came the move from steam to diesel, and now it’s a new era for gas propulsion,” says Jaakko Eskola, Group Vice President, Wärtsilä Ship Power.

We are pleased to work with Wärtsilä to move forward with this significant step in introducing LNG-powered vessels into the US market, providing a clean, abundant and affordable fuel option,” said David Lawrence, Shell’s executive vice president Exploration and Commercial.

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