Natural gas operating fleet concept jointly developed by Wärtsilä and COSCO shipping Heavy Industry received Lloyd’s Register’s approval in principle (AIP).
The development project was carried out under the terms of a memorandum of understanding cooperation signed in June 2016 between the three companies, Wärtsilä said in its statement on Thursday.
“The aim of the concept is to offer global operators a more efficient and economical fleet design that meets current and anticipated environmental requirements according to the classification rules,” the statement reads.
The fleet comprises four vessels, a pusher tug, LNG storage barge, LNG regasification barge, and a floating liquefaction natural gas barge, with the pusher tug to be used to transport the three barges.
Wärtsilä added that the pusher tug makes all the units mobile and transportable. The number and choice of units will depend on the project, since not all of the concept’s units are necessarily needed for every project.
“For example, the concept can be utilized to act as an LNG carrier (using only the pusher tug and LNG storage barge), or it can be used for more complex projects involving liquefaction and regasification systems (using all units),” the statement reads.
The modular design of Wärtsilä’s liquefaction and regasification units makes this a suitable concept for gas plants in the 50-200 MW range, especially for gas power plant projects in South East Asia due to its low draft.
The project has attained the authority of China’s National Patent Office and has been conceptualized by CHI. The design and engineering development, especially in relation to the hinge joint, mooring arrangement, ship type and seakeeping analysis, has also been carried out by CHI, Wärtsilä said.
The Finnish engine manufacturer added that it expects the fleet vessels to include Wärtsilä dual-fuel engines and steerable thrusters, the Wärtsilä LNGPac gas storage and supply system, a Wärtsilä liquefaction module, a Wärtsilä LNG cargo handling system, and a Wärtsilä regasification module.
Commenting on the AIP, Lloyd’s Register’s Wei Ying, noted that the classification society has completed a preliminary hazard identification (HAZID) study for the design, covering the fuel gas supply system, the transfer of LNG between the vessels, as well as the mooring arrangement of the fleet.