Chart Ferox Links in LNG Bunker Chain, Czech Republic

Chart Ferox, the Czech cryogenic equipment specialist, has established a significant presence in the developing sector for LNG as marine fuel. The company has secured orders to provide the fuelling systems for three distinctively different LNG-powered vessel projects.

The contracts build on the success achieved by Chart in delivering more than 60 satellite LNG plants over the past decade. Chart Ferox made its debut in the LNG-fuelled vessel sector in 2006 when it delivered the first in a series of 125m3 LNG fuel-tank-plus-cold-box arrangements for double-ended ferries under construction for Fjord1 at the Aker Brattvaag yard in Norway.

Bergensfjord was the first of three similar ferries constructed for service on the Halhjem-Sandvikvåg cross-fjord link, part of the busy E13 route on Norway’s west coast. Chart Ferox supplied each of the three ships with two 125m3, vacuum-insulated LNG tanks.

Classed with Det Norske Veritas (DNV), the Bergensfjord series is powered with Rolls-Royce lean burn gas engines which provide a service speed of 21 knots. In addition to the bunker tanks and cold boxes for the ferries, Chart Ferox also supplied two 500m3 cylindrical, horizontally mounted shore storage tanks at the Halhjem LNG ferry refuelling depot.

These tanks are filled regularly and LNG can be transferred directly from the depot tanks, via a cryogenic pipeline link, to the ship’s bunker tanks at a rate of 100m3/hr. The next ship LNG bunker tank project for Chart Ferox was the innovative, gas turbine-powered Lopez Mena at the Incat yard in Hobart, Tasmania.

Now nearing completion, this high-speed, wave-piercing roro passenger ferry is the world’s first LNG-powered fast catamaran. It will sail at speeds of up to 50 knots on the River Plate between Montevideo and Buenos Aires on behalf of the Uruguayan company Buquebus.

The Ferox supply package for Lopez Mena included two 43m3 LNG bunker tanks and cold boxes with vaporisers, pumps, valves, bunker stations, control systems, safety detectors, a glycol circuit and a heat management system for the turbine exhaust gases. The bunkering system on the DNV-classed catamaran is designed to enable completion of the LNG loading operation in less than one hour.

The onboard tanks have sufficient capacity for the 250 nautical mile roundtrip across the River Plate so that LNG refuelling can be achieved by dockside LNG road tanker delivery at one of the ports. The third Chart Group LNG-powered vessel project is in North America.

The company has been contracted to provide the LNG fuelling packages for three of the offshore support vessels (OSVs) ordered by Harvey Gulf International Marine at the Trinity Offshore yard in Gulfport, Mississippi on the US Gulf Coast. The Harvey Gulf OSVs will be powered by Wärtsilä dual-fuel engines.

Chart Ferox will supply a 290m3 LNG bunker tank plus associated equipment for each of the three ABS-classed OSVs. The LNG tank on each vessel will be positioned under the open main deck aft, well clear of and segregated from the propulsion machinery and accommodation spaces.

Chart Ferox stands poised to build on this initial portfolio of ship LNG bunkering projects. The company’s main manufacturing factory is situated on the River Elbe in Decín in the northern part of the Czech Republic, close to the German border.

The company was established in 1941 and the name Ferox, an amalgam of the chemical symbols for iron and oxygen, first appeared in 1969. It is now a subsidiary of Chart Industries of the US. Chart Ferox specialises in the supply of cryogenic equipment for the production, storage, transport and distribution of liquefied gases such as argon, oxygen, nitrogen and, more recently, the hydrocarbon gases ethylene and LNG.

The range of Chart Ferox components and equipment available to the small-scale LNG supply chain is extensive and includes storage tanks, vehicle filling and marine bunkering installations, onboard marine propulsion systems, satellite plants, vaporisers and vacuum-insulated pipe.

The range of LNG storage tank designs encompasses cylindrical pressure vessel units for marine, road and rail applications. The capacities of such units range from 200 litres for road vehicle fuel tanks through 40-foot, 40m3 ISO tank containers and horizontally and vertically mounted, land-based storage tanks.

The largest of the latter are horizontally mounted units of 1,000m3. Tanks built to store LNG over long periods are provided with perlite insulation under vacuum which is placed between the inner vessel and outer shell. The use of stainless steel for the inner vessel helps to reduce the tank’s tare weight compared with the alternative construction materials available.

Chart Ferox has also won some notable contracts for the provision of storage tanks at shoreside LNG fuelling stations. In addition to the tanks for the Fjord1 ferries at the Halhjem terminal, the company supplied 11 vacuum-insulated tanks offering a total capacity of 6,500m3 at the multifunctional storage terminal at Øra near Fredrikstad in Norway operated by Skangass AS.

The complement comprises two tanks of 500m3, five of 700m3 and two of the large 1,000m3 units. The Chart Ferox package for Øra Fredrikstad also included transfer pumps, vaporisers and control systems as well as 1km of PVC-insulated filling line from a nearby pier. Another of the company’s marine LNG fuelling projects involved the delivery of a 500m3 storage tank to the Statoil Vestbase at ristiansund for use in the bunkering of OSVs.

In addition the company has supplied mobile and semi-mobile LNG stations for trucks and buses on behalf of Gazprom Germania, Gasrec in the UK and Wärtsilä in Finland. The supply of compressed natural gas (CNG) filling stations is also part of the company’s strategy, and locations in Finland, Italy, Norway and Sweden have been provided with such equipment.

As part of a pilot project aimed at promoting LNG as fuel for municipal transport buses in Poland, Chart Ferox supplied Gazprom Germania of Berlin and Polish bus manufacturer Solbus with a mobile LNG fuelling station. The unit, which comprises a 20-foot ISO tank container mounted on a trailer chassis, was used by Gazprom to supply LNG for not only the demonstration project in the Polish towns and cities of Gdynia, Katowice, Olsztyn, Torun and Warsaw but also during the Blue Corridor convoy roadshow on its tour through several European countries.

Source: Chart, July 2, 2013

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