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Partnership advances battery-hybrid ssLNG vessel design

Fri 12 Apr 2019 by John Snyder

Partnership advances battery-hybrid ssLNG vessel design
Avenir LNG had contracted LNGBVs from Keppel but has since cancelled the order

Class society DNV GL has issued approval in principle (AiP) certificates for two small-scale LNG (ssLNG) carrier designs with bunkering capabilities, one of which is equipped with battery-hybrid power.

The designs are the first under a partnering agreement between DNV GL and Keppel Marine and Deepwater Technology (KMDT), a subsidiary of Singapore shipbuilder Keppel Offshore & Marine (Keppel O&M), that aims to promote LNG as a marine fuel. The agreement covers potential newbuild LNG bunker vessels, ssLNG carriers and floating storage and regasification units (FSRUs), as well as LNG-related assets employing battery and hybrid propulsion technologies.

Each of the new ssLNG carriers will have a Type C cargo containment system with a capacity of 7,500 m3 of LNG. An optimised deck arrangement for the modular LNG gas supply, filling and safety systems is expected to increase the cargo capacity and efficiency of the vessels. Each ssLNG vessel will be equipped with dual-fuel engines that can burn diesel or LNG and have a class notation when required for LNG bunkering.

Keppel O&M is already building LNG bunkering vessels. Russia’s Shturman Koshelev has commissioned Keppel O&M to construct an LNG bunker vessel with an ice-class 4 notation and a cargo capacity of 5,800 m3, due for delivery in Q4 2020. The LNGBV will be chartered to Gazprom Neft for operation in the Baltic Sea. Avenir LNG had booked two 7,500-m3 capacity LNGBVs with Keppel to be built in China, but that order has ben cancelled. Avenir LNG has now ordered two similar vessels from China's CIMC Sinopacific Offshore & Engineering for delivery in 2021.



“We are pleased to partner with DNV GL in developing a suite of LNG-related vessels that are ready to meet the needs of the market as the adoption of LNG as ship fuel increases,” said Keppel Offshore & Marine managing director for gas and specialised vessels Abu Bakar Mohd Nor. “Working with DNV GL enables us to demonstrate the strength of our vessel designs and the viability of LNG for shipowners.”

With the 1 January 2020 deadline for the IMO 2020 sulphur cap less than nine months away, the adoption of LNG as marine fuel is increasing. DNV GL’s Maritime Forecast to 2050, part of the research behind the DNV GL Energy Transition Outlook 2018, projects that more than 10% of the world’s shipping fleet will be powered by LNG by 2030, compared to less than 0.3% in 2019. The report anticipates that LNG-powered vessels will make up 23% of the world’s fleet by 2050.

In order to support this growth, an upgrade of LNG bunkering infrastructure is needed. “One of the objectives of our collaboration with Keppel is to facilitate the increased supply of LNG bunkering infrastructure by being future-ready through design approvals of different sizes of LNG bunker vessels, and LNG-related assets such as small-scale LNG carriers and FSRUs,” said DNV GL business director for gas carriers Johan Peter Tutturen.

The collaboration between DNV GL and Keppel is also intended to further advance asset design by optimising machinery and systems configuration to increase fuel efficiency, using advanced simulation tools.

Additionally, the parties will work together to establish roundtable discussions involving all stakeholders in the LNG-as-fuel value chain, including gas and LNG bunker suppliers, designers, shipbuilders, shipowners and operators, in an effort to increase the uptake in demand for LNG bunkering in Singapore and globally.  

The design and engineering collaborative office will be located at KMDT Singapore, with Keppel O&M’s yards to undertake the project execution.

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