Induction-based electric propulsion motor technology from GE’s Power Conversion business will be used to power four new LNG carriers that Korean shipbuilder Hyundai Heavy Industries will build for Maran Gas Maritime, the gas shipping unit of the Angelicoussis Shipping Group. Contracts for the propulsion systems were signed in late May. Hyundai Heavy Industries will deliver the vessels over a 15-month period beginning in July 2015.
In late April of this year, sea trials were completed on the first-ever LNG carrier for Maran Gas to incorporate GE’s innovative electrical power and propulsion system. Maran Gas took delivery of the vessel, the Woodside Rogers, end of last month. This electrical LNG carrier is the first out of 15 that South Korean shipyards will build for Maran Gas, all of them incorporating GE technology.
At Maran Gas, Andreas Spertos, technical director, said, "After looking at the growth potential of the LNG market, Maran Gas took the strategic decision early in 2011 to expand its presence in LNG shipping and add to its then existing fleet of five LNG carriers. The Woodside Rogers is our first tri-fuel carrier, and we are pleased with the way the ship performed during sea trials. We believe we have made the right decision to apply fuel-efficient tri-fuel diesel-electric technology to our new generation of vessels.”
Hyundai Heavy Industries was the first shipbuilder in Korea to adopt GE’s power and propulsion technology, and the new contract with Maran Gas demonstrates the group’s continuing belief in its advantages.
GE said it now has a strong position in supplying power and propulsion systems for LNG carriers, the numbers of which are growing steeply as liquefied natural gas, with its low emissions and rules compliance, becomes one of the major fuel sources used around the world.
GE’s induction-based propulsion motor technology with PWM variable-speed drives is one of the most reliable and cost-efficient solutions for marine drive systems. It has lower maintenance costs than alternative solutions, has a longer service life and offers higher environmental benefits. The technology is backed up by strong technical expertise and commissioning services from GE.
The electric drive system is powered by tri-fuel engines that run on natural gas, marine diesel gas or heavy fuel oil. The ship operator can choose the mode according to current prices of the different fuels, making the system very cost-effective. In addition, the layout of the tri-fuel engine provides a high level of redundancy, which improves the safety of the carrier avoiding off charters. Fuel consumption and emissions also are lower.
GE will supply two propulsion systems for each of the four new LNG carriers, comprising generators, main and cargo switchboards, transformers, MV7000 converters, motors and remote control. GE is responsible for design, engineering, commissioning, training and assistance for sea and gas trials.