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The use of LNG as a fuel

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A view from the seminar

Lloyd’s Register and Wärtsilä, two of the main players in the LNG-as-fuel space, held a joint industry seminar in Shanghai last week to provide the Chinese shipping industry with key insights.

Lloyd’s Register’s Joseph Morelos, together with Wärtsilä’s gas experts Liang Shi Zhong and Barry Yang, presented different aspects on the use of LNG as a fuel to an audience of close to 60 Chinese shipyard representatives as well as Chinese and European ship owners. The combination of a major engine LNG-fuelled engine maker and LNG risk experts provided a rich base for presentation and discussion.

“Class has established general frameworks and solutions such as the Lloyd’s Register’s ‘Rules for Natural Gas Fuelled Ships’ but the final application definitely needs a case-by-case analysis by the engineering experts, ” said Morelos, currently a senior surveyor and global expert in gas as a fuel with Lloyd’s Register.

In his speech, he highlighted that safety, not just availability, of bunkering solutions is a key factor in the use of LNG as a fuel. He cited the biggest difference between LNG carriers and LNG-fuelled vessels as being the definition of the ‘Gas Dangerous Area’. Whilst in carriers this is limited to a clearly defined space, it could be spread out over several areas within the vessel types that use LNG as a fuel.

Liang Shi Zhong, Deputy GM – Technical Sales Support, then took the podium to share Wärtsilä’s expertise in gas-fuelled engines before Barry Yang, Segment Sales Director, touched on the latest LNGPac solution offered by the Finland based global leader in lifecycle power solutions for the marine & offshore industry.

Yang sees a requirement for differing storage tank locations depending on the vessel and that close co-operation between class, equipment suppliers and shipyards is needed to find a suitable solution that satisfies all safety requirements.

“This was quite an informative session for us and we would be interested in attending future similar seminars, ” said Nikolaos Stamoudis, of Minerva Marine, who is in China at the moment supervising a newbuilding at a Chinese yard.

Rafael Riva, Lloyd’s Register’s Business Development Strategy Manager in China said: “Our Chinese clients are very interested in learning more about LNG. Our joint venture with COSCO Shipyard Group and Golden Union to develop an LNG fuelled bulk carrier design is a real example of what is possible. Today, we looked in detail at the technical and operational issues involved. What we cannot predict is the commercial view on LNG – whether it makes financial sense. Ultimately the availability of LNG bunkers and attractive pricing will drive investment decisions. But those decisions require a technical foundation and today we made progress in building that base.”

About Lloyd’s Register

Lloyd’s Register provides independent assurance to companies operating high-risk, capital-intensive assets in the energy and transportation sectors. We enhance the safety of life, property and the environment by helping our clients to ensure the quality construction and operation of critical infrastructure. www.lr.org

About Wärtsilä

Wärtsilä is a global leader in complete lifecycle power solutions for the marine and energy markets. By emphasising technological innovation and total efficiency, Wärtsilä maximises the environmental and economic performance of the vessels and power plants of its customers. In 2012, Wärtsilä’s net sales totalled EUR 4.7 billion with approximately 18, 900 employees. The company has operations in nearly 170 locations in 70 countries around the world. Wärtsilä is listed on the NASDAQ OMX Helsinki, Finland. www.wartsila.com


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