Increased emission legislation is impacting on the maritime industry and the development of LNG as a fuel is growing at a pace. The marine engineers and designers at Houlder have recognized this and are developing specialist equipment as a result.
An example, announced this week at the Lloyd’s Maritime Academy LNG Bunkering Seminar, is a standalone processing unit that efficiently manages boil-off gas on board bunker vessels and client ships. With potentially 5,000 LNG fuelled vessels on the horizon, Houlder’s unit is expected to make a significant impact to LNG powered vessels in the future.
The concept design focuses on improving retention of natural gas vapor generated either by warming tanks or through the transfer process. The system is intended to minimize requirements from the host vessel in terms of foot print and power consumption, especially compared to re-liquefaction plants.
Similarly, the importance of effective boil-off gas management grows in the case of vessels operating with slow speed, low pressure engines and none pressurized tanks (IMO IGC B and membrane containment systems). These containment systems operate at near atmospheric pressure meaning boil-off gas can’t be managed through tank pressure increases. Houlder anticipates that its boil-off management system will provide noticeable savings to operators of these ships.