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LNG gaining prominence as fuel


The use of liquified natural gas (LNG) as a fuel, based on its environmentally friendly credentials is gaining ground, with several developments taking place over the last few weeks. First off, Wärtsilä and Finland-based Gasum have signed an agreement to develop use, distribution, and service solutions for natural gas in marine and onshore applications. The engine manufacturer will provide the gas value chain technology know-how, while Gasum brings its expertise in distributing and selling natural gas and biogas – not least though its Nordic subsidiary Skangas. The venture will also pursue the development of liquefied biogas (LBG) markets.

Secondly, the first LNG-fuelled newbuilding oil/chemical tanker, the 15,000dwt Ternsund, has been delivered to Denmark’s Terntank Rederi by Chinese yard AVIC Dingheng Shipbuilding. The BV classed Ternsund is the first of a series of four ships all equipped with the Wärtsilä RT-flex50-D dual-fuel low-speed engine. The Wärtsilä RT-flex50-D dual-fuel low-speed engine will deliver 5,850 kW propelling the 147 m LOA vessel via a CPP propeller delivering a service speed of 14.5 knots. LNG as fuel is stored on board in 2 Type C tanks on deck containing 315 cu m of LNG each. The vessel is notable not only for being the first to have such an engine installed but also to lead the way for LNG bunkering in the port of Rotterdam. The bunkering, which took place in early August allowed the tanker to qualify for an LNG bunkering premium equal to a 10% reduction in port dues.

In other news, Winterthur Gas & Diesel (WinGD) has been selected to supply two 5-cylinder X72DF (5X72DF) engines for each of a pair of 180,000 m3 LNG carriers ordered by South Korean shipowner SK Shipping. The twin-skeg LNG carriers will be built by Hyundai Heavy Industries (HHI) and the engines by its engine & machinery division. The ships will be fitted with a GTT Mark III Flex membrane cargo containment system as well as HHI’s Hi-SGAS system (that can re-liquefy 100 % of the boil off gas (BOG) from the cargo). The vessels are scheduled for delivery in 2019 with engines being supplied in Feb 2018 for the first vessel and in April 2018 for the second.