Norway’s DNV continues at the center of liquefied natural gas as a marine fuel, agreeing to evaluate LNG ship-fueling possibilities at three Belgian ports, and approving the design of a dual fuel container ship with a new type of LNG tank design for Kawasaki Heavy Industries.
DNV (Det Norske Veritas, a global classification society) says it’s to prepare a feasibility study for LNG (liquefied natural gas) bunkering facilities at the Belgian ports of Antwerp, Zeebrugge and Ghent, consisting of market survey, risk and safety analysis, “and modeling of the logistics, legal and regulatory requirements needed to establish LNG bunkering infrastructure at the ports.”
“Hazard identification and quantitative risk analysis are key components of DNV’s service and this scope of work covers not only people at the port but the wider community and natural environment,” states a release. The study was commissioned by the Belgium’s Flemish government. DNV said the Flemish port authorities were “optimistic about the potential for safe and efficient LNG bunkering operations.”
Separately, DNV is talking up Kawasaki Heavy Industries’ design for a 1,010-foot, LNG-capable container ship with prismatic cryogenic tanks. The near-rectangular tanks, of 7,000 cubic meters, or nearly 1.85 million gallons capacity, take up less cargo space than cylindrical tanks. KHI’s “unique” Kawasaki Panel insulation system reduces boil-off, DNV says.
Both LNG and diesel oil fuel tanks are located under the ship’s forward superstructure, further minimizing the loss of cargo space.
KHI has obtained DNV approval in principle for both the gas supply system of the vessel and the LNG fuel tanks. Next comes a safety assessment of the vessel with DNV.
Design criteria for LNG ships are being studied by the International Maritime Association’s Bulk Liquids and Gases unit (IMO BLG), DNV notes, adding, “The location of LNG tanks under the accommodation has been a subject for discussion in the industry. DNV plays an active role in these discussions.”
DNV notes that the KHI ship’s electronically controlled two-stroke dual-fuel main engine may be equipped with an exhaust gas recirculation system (EGR) to satisfy IMO Tier-3 requirements for North American and European ECAs – Emission Control Areas.
DNV continues to emphasize its LNG commitment and the seriousness of a maritime shift to LNG.
“It is important to understand the environmental imperatives that shipowners face, but it is also important to recognize that, in reality, the uptake of new technologies is a balance between risk and business need,” COO Tor Svensen said in a release. “Together, DNV and KHI have struck just the right balance with this vessel.”
LNG is seen as a cleaner replacement for oil, and according to DNV is “proving to be an economically favorable emissions reduction solution for shipowners.
“Decoupled from oil prices due to sources such as shale gas, [LNG] is expected to remain competitive for the lifetime of new vessels entering the market,” DNV says. “25 ships in Norway are already floating evidence of LNG’s safety and technical feasibility, and DNV has had rules in place for over 10 years.”
DNV says it’s demonstrated the feasibility of a range of large LNG ships through such concept studies as the container ship Quantum 9000; Triality, a VLCC size oil tanker; and two different sized bulk carriers.
In November, a DNV official said at a conference in China that some 500 LNG ships would be on order by 2015 and several thousands by 2020 (F&F, December 12).
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