New LNG inland shipping vessel and integrated shipping concept
12 September 2012
Bodewes Binnenvaart B.V., Damen Shipyards Group’s inland waterway shipyard, and inland shipping company QaGroup will launch a new inland shipping concept based on a vessel running solely on liquefied natural gas (LNG). The full package comprises ship design, shipbuilding, ship management, leasing, financing arrangements and crews.
Because this concept is built up on a modular basis, shippers, and barge operators can pick and choose. For example, we can provide the vessel including crew for one client, but just a financing arrangement for another, while handling all for a third client. We can tailor the concept to the customer’s exact requirements. This concept provides an integrated shipbuilding, ship management and financing solution.—Rob Schuurmans, Director of Bodewes Binnenvaart and drs. ir. Jan Sneekes, QaGroup CEO
Permission to use LNG as fuel on the vessel has been granted by the Central Commission for the Navigation of the Rhine and the United Nations Economic Commission for Europe (ADN-UNECE), meaning that the vessel can travel on all international inland waterways. The LNG concept operates alongside another technology developed by Bodewes Binnenvaart, the air-lubricated hull ‘ACES’. Working in combination, these lead to fuel savings and emissions cuts.
The two Dutch companies originally met each other about four years ago. Bodewes Binnenvaart was at that time starting to develop a low emissions concept for inland waterway shipping and the QaGroup was exploring using LNG as an alternative fuel. Bodewes Binnenvaart was also working on ACES, where the first results at full-scale had just been recorded at Maritime Research Institute Netherlands (MARIN).
Although the LNG/ACES system can be fitted to any inland ship, at the moment the system has been designed around a 110-meter vessel, the EcoLiner, which is based on the Damen River Liner 1145. The new vessel has a bunker capacity of approximately 45m3 LNG and it will be fully classified by Bureau Veritas.
The vessel is equipped with four generator sets and these power all of the consumers via the comprehensive power management system. The power management system ensures efficient energy generation, distribution and storage. For example, there is more power needed going upriver from Rotterdam to Basle than on the return, so the management system will automatically switch the generator sets on and off.
A typical ship engine runs most efficient at a load of 80% of its full power. With four generator sets the power management system will ensure the engines do so. Energy created can be stored when using less power or instead it can be used to heat or cool the cargo or for cooling water or heating accommodation. In addition, waste heat is used and becomes energy, so absolutely nothing is wasted. On top of this, there’s the 15% fuel reduction because of the ACES hull.—Rob Schuurmans
The concept provides reliability and guaranteed maximum uptime. The separate generators give the vessel built-in redundancy. The LNG vessel also comes with a Damen full service contract, which guarantees maximum uptime and service 365 days a year. Damen engineers can carry out maintenance while the vessel is continuing to do its job.
The partners are already exploring markets in Germany, Belgium and the Netherlands but also they are going further afield in Brazil, China and India and say they have received a very positive response worldwide from leading shippers and barge companies.
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