Asia Gets First LNG-Powered Tugboat

China National Offshore Oil Corporation (CNOOC) has taken delivery of Asia’s first tugboat Hai Yang Shi You 525, designed to operate solely on liquefied natural gas as the ship’s fuel.

Hai Yang Shi You 525, the first of two tugs built by the Zhenjiang shipyard for CNOOC, features a propulsion package based on twin Rolls-Royce Bergen C26:33L9PG engines and a pair of Rolls-Royce US 205 CP azimuth thrusters to ensure the tugs have rapid manoeuvring and strong bollard pull capabilities.

A successful sea trial has proven an extra gain for both ship speed and bollard pull, Rolls-Royce said.

Richard Wang, Rolls-Royce, Senior Vice President – Commercial Marine, said: “We are proud to be powering Asia’s first gas-powered tug so shortly after delivering Borgøy, the world’s first LNG-powered tug, to Norwegian owner Buksèr og Berging.

“This order marks a new era for tugboat propulsion technology in China. As its shipbuilding industry shifts focus from standard designs to more sophisticated tonnage, more owners and operators will see the benefit of using cleaner, more efficient fuelling solutions for their vessels.”

China is one of the world’s largest importers of natural gas and already has the LNG infrastructure in place.

The decision to operate on LNG follows the Chinese government’s 2011 plan to strengthen its maritime base with the manufacture of high-end, ecologically-efficient ships and technology.

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