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HANSA 09-2019

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Schiffstechnik | Ship Technology Høglund has provided automation systems to LNG bunker vessels like Shell’s »Cardissa« and Nauticor’s »Kairos«, owned by BSM © Nauticor Automation increasing LNG safety So far, LNG bunkering has a perfect safety record, but as the global order book for LNG-fuelled vessels continues to grow, so does the need to establish best practice. It is vital to ensure that the systems prioritise the handling not just of gas, but also of data With less than a year to go before the entry into force of the International Maritime Organisation’s IMO 2020 sulphur cap, we’re now seeing a rapid uptake in liquefied natural gas (LNG) bunkering services and infrastructure across the globe. It seems the market has now matured beyond the »chicken and egg« sticking point, and any doubts among the shipping community with regards to the feasibility of LNG as an alternative bunker fuel are quickly beginning to dissipate. The shipping industry’s transformation to a cleaner, »greener« future won’t be simple – and the first movers will need to innovate rapidly to ensure the technology is there to support it. We now have an opportunity to build a segment from scratch – with safety and efficiency at its core. So far, LNG bunkering has a perfect safety record, but as the global order book for LNG-fuelled vessels continues to grow and diversify, so does the need to regulate and establish best practice across the industry. This is particularly true when it comes to LNG bunkering, where Høglund Gas Solutions has been at the forefront of the development of automated systems for LNG handling since the beginning, working with many of the industry leaders in the LNG bunker vessel segment such as Sirius Shipping, Shell and Babcock Schulte Energy, who recently delivered Nauticor-operated »Kairos«. The insight we’ve gained from working in this sector has afforded us a view into the opportunities ahead, but also some of the hurdles. Overcoming these will involve taking the learnings from the industry’s pioneers, and examining the challenges and opportunities for improvement they’ve observed. Automation and gas handling systems have a vital role to play in solving many of the issues surrounding a wider switch to LNG. These include complications around fuel quality and the role of data and interoperability. For example, when it comes to fuel quality there currently is a real need to establish greater transparency and trust in the marine fuels supply chain. Fuel quality in question While there has been considerable attention paid to what tanker industry organisation Intertanko last year called an »epidemic« of contaminated bunker fuel, and the increased need for reliability in sourcing compliant heavy fuel oil (HFO) post- 2020, LNG has escaped the same scrutiny on quality. It is crucial, however, that we work towards building a greater awareness of the variations in the quality of LNG bunker fuel and how this is determined. Many 56 HANSA International Maritime Journal 09 | 2019

Schiffstechnik | Ship Technology shipping companies aren’t all that aware that the methane number of LNG around the globe is highly variable. This has an effect on the engines of the vessels that use it as they are designed to handle gas at specific methane numbers. If the methane number of the fuel is wrong, this can cause knocking, and, as a consequence, damage the engine. This can then lead to expensive insurance claims, in which it is necessary to prove that the vessel was supplied with compliant fuel. This is why it’s vital to ensure that the systems we create prioritise the handling not just of gas, but also of data. Custody Transfer Systems (CTS) have an important role to play in measuring the quality and quantity of LNG being bunkered, and ensure that the fuel is uncontaminated and safe to use. Fuel Gas Supply Systems can also monitor and mitigate LNG boil-off, which is essential in validating LNG’s status as a cleaner fuel with lower greenhouse gas emissions. Another important aspect to consider when we look at building a reliable fleet of LNG vessels is the value of data, particularly at a time when vessel data is becoming increasingly valuable. For LNGBVs, this means accurate data on fuel quality and quantity. For LNG-fuelled vessels, ship owners and operators need access to the data generated across their fleet in order to optimise fuel consumption and ship performance. A potential goldmine All of the solutions we supply provide our customers with access to the potential goldmine of data they generate on a daily basis. This can take the form of logging and playback systems, which record and store all data for a system. This allows users to play back events and analyse them, which can prove invaluable for diagnostics, optimisation and bug fixing. Høglund puts users at the centre of its design process, and prioritises a user-friendly interface and supports them with training where necessary, and have created a variety of simulator programs to ensure our solutions can be used to deliver maximum value. Inter-operability is also vital in ensuring the long-term prosperity of the LNG shipping sector. When it comes to bunkering systems, multiple suppliers tend to be involved, so it’s important that our systems can talk to one another. For any modern vessel there are thousands of data points being created every second. They come from many different ship systems which it’s necessary to create interfaces between. Any additional interfaces run the risk of losing information or creating operational disruptions. To reduce this risk, complexity and cost, it’s vital to reduce the number of interfaces and define the level of detail at which data should be available across the systems. Biggest shock to shipping All of this should be addressed from the start in the ship design specification. In the marine sector overall, this is typically where the problem lies. Between owners, yards, and naval architects, there is little understanding of automation, and the difference that a considered approach can make to the issues outlined above. Too often, generic systems bundled in with hardware are selected, with little thought to how they fit in with the effective management of a vessel and which data output will be required. As automation is a low-cost item in contrast to most other elements of the design, it’s depriori- tised – often at the cost of the reliability and cost-effectiveness of the overall vessels. It is fair to say that the year 2020 will be the biggest shock to shipping since the switch from coal to diesel. If LNG is to continue to grow as a clean, efficient marine fuel the industry will require a radical shakeup of maritime systems engineering. Automation, in particular, will have a key part to play in keeping the new LNGBV market on course towards safe and efficient operations with low life-time costs. Author: Peter Morsbach, Høglund Gas Solutions Newport Shipping Newport Shipping Newport Shipping Newport Shipping Newport Shipping Newport Shipping Newport Shipping DO YOU WANT TO COMPLY WITH ALL ENVIRONMENTAL REGULATIONS? Turnkey BWT systems and scrubber systems Full retrofitting and design including LNG retrofitting Drydocking in our top-rated shipyards One contract - English law – top quality assured around the globe Best payment terms suitable to your cash flow No mortgage, no bank guarantee and no personal guarantees We are here to be a real partner for you HANSA International Maritime Journal 09 | 2019 57

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