• 2020 November 27 12:01

    The world’s first LPG-fuelled vessel has set sail

    The world’s first LPG-fuelled vessel has set sail. Powered with Wärtsilä’s customised and reliable Fuel Supply System, the vessel represents a major breakthrough in the search for new ways to reduce marine emissions, the company said in its release.

    BW LPG, the world’s largest owner and operator of very large liquified petroleum gas (LPG) carriers, is approaching a major milestone in the retrofit of a number of its very large gas carrier (VLGC) to run on LPG instead of Heavy Fuel Oil (HFO).

    About 20 months ago, BW LPG signed a contract with Wärtsilä to install LPG Fuel Supply Systems (LFSS) on four of its vessels. As part of the contract, Wärtsilä was also asked to manage the integration of the new system into the vessels. This meant making necessary ship design modifications, integrating the LFSS control system with the ships’ integrated automation system (IAS), and acting as a coordinator between the yard, the engine manufacturer, and the owner.

    Now, after the successful completion of full-scale testing and installation of the systems, the first BW vessel has successfully completed sea and gas trials and is on a historic transpacific voyage from China to Enterprise Port in Houston, Texas, on full LPG propulsion.

    Serge Schwalenstocker, Project Manager, BW LPG, says the decision to make the switch from running vessels on Heavy Fuel Oil to LPG made sense from the economic, operational, and especially environmental perspective.

    “Compared with Heavy Fuel Oil (HFO), LPG emits up to 97% less sulphur (SOx), 20% less nitrogen oxide (NOx), 90% less particulate matter (PM) and 20% fewer carbon emissions,” Schwalenstocker says.

    “Based on current fuel price levels where LPG is cheaper compared to compliant fuel alternatives, we are using cleaner and cheaper fuel to power our vessel.,” he adds.

    Kaj Portin, General Manager, Research & Technology Programs at Wärtsilä, says LPG has other benefits as well.

    “LPG is affordable and easy to handle; it can be stored in pressurized tanks, is easily accessible across all terminals in the world, and is more environmentally friendly than other fossil fuels,” Portin says.

    “If you look at an engine running on LPG, it will have quite low CO2 emissions as it has short molecules — mostly propane and butane. It also has no methane slip and is great for controlling greenhouse gas emissions, too. Only LNG, methane and ethane will be as good with CO2 slip,” he adds.

    In February, Wärtsilä completed full-scale testing of its LFSS with a full sized 2-stroke marine engine fuelled by LPG. The performance of the system exceeded expectations, and BW LPG exercised its option to extend the project and increased the total number of ships for retrofitting to twelve.

    “Retrofitting 12 of our vessels with pioneering LPG propulsion technology is a significant upfront commitment, but the returns are positive in both financial and environmental terms,” says Schwalenstocker. “It is the result of our company’s focus to invest resources and expertise to pioneer technology that can be used to push our industry towards decarbonization without the need for dedicated newbuilding orders.”

    Developing the pioneering technology required to retrofit the vessels was not easy. Wärtsilä needed to install two LPG tanks of 900 m3 volume each to replace the Heavy Fuel Oil. The LPG from these new tanks also had to be pressurized and conditioned to make it ready to send to the engine. Once sent and used as fuel, the engine returns liquid. The returning liquid too, needs to be conditioned and handled in varying volumes. Wärtsilä had to ensure that this process was carried out smoothly while integrating and interfacing with the existing systems on the vessel.

    BW LPG expects the next vessels, to be completed within Q3 2021. All these vessels will be fitted with Wärtsilä’s new deck tanks and LFSS on the main deck. In the engine room, the engine supplier will convert the main conventional fuel engine to an LPG dual-fuel engine. This process is expected to take about two months for each vessel, including testing.

    Wärtsilä is not alone in its pioneering work on the use of LPG as a marine fuel. There is broad interest in the fuel. The classification agency DNV GL is reported to have developed new class rules and a class notation for the use of gas-fuelled LPG ships. According to reports, a joint study by DNV GL and MAN found “LPG is at least as attractive an energy source as LNG, with shorter payback periods, lower investment costs and lower sensitivity to fuel price scenarios.”

    So far, LPG as a marine fuel has only been tried on LPG carriers. But experts believe that with costs declining and the availability and accessibility of LPG rising, it is only a matter of time before many more vessels adopt it.

2021 January 25

18:06 Valenciaport leads Spain in natural gas supply operations
17:56 Russian Fishery Company develops new markets
17:28 Vanino coast stations of sea areas A1 and A2 GMDSS successfully passed regular survey
17:05 DNV GL awards AIP to KSOE for wing sail propulsion system
16:05 Wärtsilä signs a five year extension to its Optimised Maintenance agreement with Golar
15:59 Port of Ventspils increased handling of wood products
15:04 ABS awards industry’s first AIP for deep-sea mining vessel to CMI
14:27 Average spot market price for Russian M100 product climbed to RUB 18,710 pmt
14:02 Konecranes and Calata Bettolo container terminal in Genoa join forces on complete container handling solution
13:55 90% of ships cleared by Baltic Customs in 2020 went through commission-free procedure
13:02 Port of Rotterdam Authority launches smart bollard trial at ECT
12:13 Chinese ports container throughput increases by 1.2% to 264.3 million TEU in 2020
11:38 Calls at ports of Sakhalin, Kurils and Kamchatka in 2020 grew by 4.4%
11:04 Panama Canal signs MoUs with Panama Ports Company and PSA Panama International Terminal to optimize supply routes for COVID-19 vaccine distribution
10:47 MABUX: Bunker market this morning, Jan 25, 2021
10:12 Throughput of Chinese sea and river ports in 2020 climbed by 4.3% YoY
10:10 The LNG-powered CMA CGM JACQUES SAADE makes her first call at Le Havre
09:51 Rosmorport appoints Aleksandr Smirnov as Acting General Director
09:30 Crude oil prices start this week with a decrease
09:16 Baltic Dry Index as of January 22

2021 January 24

16:37 Boluda Towage acquires Dutch Towage & Salvage Company Iskes
15:13 MARAD announces notice of funding opportunity for America's small shipyard grant program
14:39 Greensea receives US NAVY award to advance Standoff Command and Control
14:18 USCG assists 7 people after boat collision near Fort Pierce
13:42 Contract awards within Renewable Energy and Subsea
12:32 RightShip and INTERCARGO announce important new quality standard for dry bulk sector to be governed by new NGO
11:26 V.Group announces new appointment
10:56 Siem Car Carriers' fleet continues to grow with Super-Eco, LNG powered PCTC vessels

2021 January 23

16:31 DNV GL awards AIP to KSOE for wing sail propulsion system
15:23 Boomsma Shipping installs and sails off with two eConowind Flatrack VentiFoils
14:51 HHLA acquires majority share of automation specialist iSAM AG
13:18 MPA announces 30-day suspension for pleasure craft, ADVANT, for large social gathering on board
12:42 Puerto Aguadulce hits 1 million TEU milestone
11:36 Diana Shipping announces time charter contract for M/V Calipso with Viterra
10:53 Bahri Ship Management receives ISO 45001 certification for occupational health and safety

2021 January 22

18:00 Rosmorport's icebreaker Mudyug starts providing icebreaking assistance in the Baltic Sea
17:36 Andrey Lavrishchev appointed as head of Federal Marine and River Transport Agency
17:13 Aleksandr Poshivay appointed as Deputy Minister of Transport of the Russian Federation
16:34 Rosmorport starts providing geodesic and hydrographic services in the water area of Petropavlovsk-Kamchatsky seaport
16:05 APM Terminals Gothenburg offers certified climate impact calculations to customers
15:49 Sredne-Nevsky Shipyard commences outfitting of yet another minesweeper of Project 12700, Pyotr Ilyichov
15:21 Norsepower installs first tiltable Rotor Sails on Sea-Cargo Ro-Ro
14:58 Container terminal in Świnoujście is in line with sustainable development vision
14:32 Cargo turnover of NCSP Group in 11M’2020 totaled 101.4 million tons, down 21.2% YoY
14:07 Petersburg Oil Terminal in 2020 increased shipments of oil products by 16.6%
14:03 Jan De Nul adds two new vessels to its fleet
13:45 DHT Holdings announces acquisition of two VLCCs
13:29 Iridium partner MetOcean Telematics provides SaR buoys to the USCG
12:52 Havyard develops hydrogen zero-emission vessels in new segment
12:11 THE Alliance announces Transatlantic Service Network adjustments for 2021
11:30 Rosmorport successfully completed formation of Ultramar terminal’s water area
11:06 Training ships Nadezhda and Professor Khlyustin welcome first cadets of 2021 season
11:05 Inmarsat passes 10,000-vessel fleet xpress installation milestone as data demand accelerates maritime digitalisation
10:39 Scottish Ports Group welcomes Scottish Goverment's establishment of 'Greenports'
10:21 Throughput of Kaliningrad port in 2020 fell by 6% Y-o-Y
10:02 MABUX: Bunker market this morning, Jan 22, 2021
09:48 Bunker market sees mixed price movements at the Port of Saint-Petersburg, Russia (graph)
09:30 Crude oil prices decrease amid aggravation of the epidemiological situation
09:12 Baltic Dry Index as of January 21

2021 January 21

18:07 Port of Houston awarded new start for Ship Channel