Evolutionary Bunker Ship Safely Delivers LNG, Reduces Vessel Contact

SAFE Bunker concept vessel - courtesy of Tritec Marine

Published May 27, 2020 6:20 PM by The Maritime Executive

Tritec Marine and Stena LNG are collaborated to create an innovative "SAFE Bunker" concept.

According to the companies, the challenge is to develop a new design that meets a growing need for LNG bunkering solutions as the shipping industry increasingly turns to the new fuel alternative.  The objective was to develop a ship that not only guarantees delivery of LNG bunker safely and efficiently but should also eliminate the contact between the vessels.

“As we move into the third decade of the 21st century, the LNG bunkering industry has seen significant growth and maturity, a trend which is expected to continue throughout the decade and beyond,” according to the company’s announcement of their design.  

According to Tritec and Stena, the introduction of LNG as a viable alternative fuel for the shipping industry is creating the need to revise the traditional bunker ship design to service diverse vessel types. Side contact, common in the traditional fueling sector, they stressed, is not acceptable for any owner as it creates the risk of potential dents on the plating and unsightly damage to the paintwork.  This especially a problem for the cruise industry as more lines begin to adopt the LNG fuel alternative.

Tritec and Stena’s concept for the SAFE Bunker was developed to meet these challenges, including reducing vessel interaction. The vessel is designed with dual fuel diesel-electric engines and podded propulsion in the bow and the stern. The pods make possible the use of dynamic positioning during refueling operations. In addition, the location of the cargo control room at the top of the accommodation block in combination with the dynamic positioning capability enables the safe bunkering operation by further alleviating contact between the two vessels even in less favorable weather conditions. 

The design is an LNG bunker/feeder vessel with a payload capacity of 7,500 m3 with 2C type tanks and offsets accommodation.  According to the companies, the SAFE Bunker “pushes the boundaries of the current regulatory framework,” but they noted that it received approval in principle by the American Bureau of Shipping (ABS) in October 2019.