Trio sets up competition for new LNG retrofitting solutions

Illustration; One of LNG powered vessels; Source: Wikimedia – under the CC BY 2.0 license; Image by: Alan Jamieson

Nanyang Technological University, DNV GL, and Shell have organized a competition for ideas to help reduce the cost of retrofitting an LNG fuel gas system to an existing ocean-going vessel.

The trio set up the ‘Low-Cost LNG Retrofit (LCLR) Challenge’ to assist shipping companies to embrace cleaner fuels and reduce harmful emissions and adhering the International Maritime Organisation’s (IMO) guidelines on ship emissions that come into effect next year.

Participants were encouraged to develop cost-effective and radical LNG fuel gas system designs and installation concepts that could be retrofitted to an existing vessel with a conventional fuel oil system.

The competition attracted over 60 participants from NTU, the National University of Singapore, Singapore Institute of Technology, and Newcastle University Singapore with two teams from SIT and one from SIT-Newcastle University named as winners.

Low Teck Seng, CEO of the National Research Foundation presented the prizes at the Singapore Maritime Technology Conference (SMTC) 2019 last week.

The proposals by the teams outlined ways to reduce costs and streamline retrofitting operations such as using alternative materials to store LNG fuel, improved methods to install LNG fuel systems, and alternative methods to speed up retrofitting process.

The proposals include using manganese-steel as a cheaper and viable alternative to the current nickel-based steels, factoring in the material’s tensile strength and feasibility to store LNG fuel at cryogenic temperatures – below 150 degrees Celsius.

A panel of international experts from NTU, Shell, DNV GL, Keppel O&M, WinGD, Wartsila, Sembmarine, SMI, and the Maritime and Port Authority of Singapore judged all project proposals.

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