In Depth: LNG to transport LEG

Less CO2

Rotterdam-based shipping company Anthony Veder Group added two more LNG-powered sea vessels to its fleet at the end of 2014.

The new ships, the company’s first ones with LNG tanks for cargo-independent dual fuel operation, will carry Liquefied Ethylene Gas (LEG) from petrochemical company Saudi Basic Industries Corporation’s (SABIC) Wilton facility on Teesside, United Kingdom, to manufacturing plants in North-West Europe and Scandinavia, where it will be used to make products such as food packaging, PVC, detergents and adhesives.

The vessels, built at Avic-Dingheng Shipbuilding yard in Jiangsu province, China, were named Coral Star and Coral Sticho by Anke Beck-Kruisinga and Anne Ruigt-Weijman, the partners of SABIC-managers, in Teesside, United Kingdom on 13 November 2014. The 99.9 metre long ships, with a beam of 17 metres and a cargo capacity of 4,768 cubic metres, will reduce emissions considerably compared to the vessels they are replacing. Switching to alternative fuels for ships, such as LNG, instead of traditional fuel oils is one of the solutions identified by Anthony Veder to help SABIC further improve its environmental performance.

Nearly 20% less SOx and soot particles

“We are delighted that SABIC has chosen Anthony Veder as its partner in the development of a new greener way to transport materials around the globe. By demonstrating their commitment to using LNG powered vessels, SABIC and Anthony Veder are leading and embracing this cutting-edge technology. They could be at the forefront of opening up a whole new sector of sea-going transport”, commented Anthony Veder’s CEO Jan Valkier.

The cost of the vessels’ additional LNG investment has been partly funded from the European Union’s TEN-T programme, which seeks to ensure Europe has a well-run transport infrastructure in order to maintain the continent’s competitiveness and wealth.

“We are proud to be the first chemical company in the world to be transporting our products on carriers running on LNG and to have an innovative partner in Anthony Veder”, said SABIC’s European supply chain director of chemicals Wouter Vermijs during the naming ceremony.

As it was decided to execute the final commissioning of the LNG fuel system in Zeebrugge, the vessels started their maid- ens trip from China to the Belgian city on conventional fuel oil. The final commissioning was done in two steps: firstly, the bunker tanks were conditioned and loaded with LNG and the second step was to send gas to the engines for testing.

Liquefied nitrogen was used to purge the bunker tanks (reduce O2-content) and to cool down. After cooling down till -160°C the system was filled with LNG via two trucks in order to start up the fuel gas system and send gas towards the en- gines. The generated power was sent in a first step to a load bank ashore for testing and controlling. After testing all three engines, the vessels were ready for their regular trade.

Gail van den Hanenberg

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