A ‘work horse’ of LNG bunkering
Johan Lillieskold, Gas Solutions Specialist, LNG Competence Centre, at Schulte Group says: “We examined the market’s current requirements and recognised the need for a straightforward LNG fuelling ‘work horse’, that reduces the cost of last-mile delivery for vessel operators. We have gone back to the drawing board and defined the operational specifications of what the ideal LNG bunker vessel should offer, doing away with any additional or unnecessary gear and cumbersome operations.”
The LBV has been designed to maximise operational compatibility, including: vessels with protruding structures from the hull, such as those typically found on cruise liners with protruding lifeboats, deck structure and balconies; vessels with short bodies such as high-speed, slender container vessels; and those with high freeboards including large crude oil and bulk carriers.
LNG is an increasingly popular choice of fuel as owners and operators seek to reduce emissions from their ships’ operations. Some of the LNG bunkers are currently delivered from shore-based trucks to ships berthed alongside, and whilst these activities will still be available going forward, LNG sea-based deliveries will eventually dominate supply to merchant and cruise LNG-fuelled vessels.
Lillieskold says: “The number of LNG-fuelled vessels planned to enter into operation in the next few years is significant, as operators increasingly turn to LNG to reduce environmentally and climate-harmful emissions.” Lillieskold admits that typically cheaper than fuel oil, LNG prices are high right now, but when the LNG versus fuel oil market returns to normal, demand for LNG to fuel merchant vessels and the required infrastructure will follow. “The current arrangements for LNG bunkers, both land-based and sea-based, will not be sufficient or suitable for the increasing volume of LNG-fuelled tonnage planned for future years. This new flexible vessel design will serve both today’s tonnage and future new builds.”
Schulte Group’s LBV has been developed in accordance with the International Code of Safety for Ships Using Gases or Other Low-flashpoint Fuels (IGC) and other IMO regulations. It also complies with and is prepared for new and future decarbonising rules and regulations like the IMO’s Carbon Intensity Index (CII) and the EU’s Fit for 55 programmes.