New LNG Carrier Design Suits “Milk Run”
The LNG carrier market has been strong so far this year, and the segment's latest design concept, released this month, joins a growing range of concepts.
The first two months of 2018 saw 13 LNG carriers delivered and 10 ordered. The 10 ships commissioned in January 2018 made it the busiest-ever month for LNG carrier completions, says LNG World Shipping.
More recently, in March, ICE Marine Design of the U.K. announced the development of a “milk run” LNG distribution tanker with 20,000 cubic meter capacity. The cargo is contained in two type C semi-pressurized and fully refrigerated bi-lobe cargo tanks. The company says it has worked closely with a major operator on the design.
The vessel’s dual-fuel propulsion system is designed to normally operate on boil-off gas (BOG), whilst having the ability to alternatively run the vessel to comply with sulfur emission control area restrictions and to manage the amount of BOG during fully laden trips.
The unusually low draft of the vessel and its high maneuverability allow it to supply LNG to terminals and end users in location that has so far not been serviced by ocean-going LNG carriers.
The ICE design comes after a number of other new, larger designs. Last year, Lloyd’s Register approved the design of a 30,000 cubic meter ballast-free prototype by GTT and Dalian Shipbuilding Industry. Lloyd’s Register said estimates based on the initial design, called B-FREE, pointed to lowered fuel consumption as well as lowered LNG boil-off than designs currently on the market.
Also last year, Daewoo Shipbuilding and Marine Engineering (DSME) and DNV GL unveiled an LNG carrier design based on currently available technology that they say takes into account market trends and stricter emissions requirements. The post-Panamax concept combines a higher cargo-carrying capacity with a hull form and propulsion system geared to lower, more energy-efficient transit speeds. The hull shape and propulsion system have been optimized for three ship-speed operating profiles on a standard transpacific route – 19.5, 16 and 12 knots.
The design would use direct-coupled, two-stroke DF main engines and DF auxiliary engines, with LNG as the primary fuel. A combined gas turbine, electric and steam (COGES) propulsion system has been chosen for the machinery.
The design also incorporates DSME’s SloT (Ship Internet of Things) technology and their wireless computer network and integration system Smartship 4.0.