2015_3 good fortunes ahead master

Good fortunes ahead

Wärtsilä’s best brains helped Evergas design a multigas fleet of “Dragon Class” gas carriers for INEOS, including the best use of boil-off in the industry yet.

Text: ANN TÖRNKVIST Photo: WÄRTSILÄ

In July, the gas carrier Evergas named the first two of its cutting-edge dual-fuel vessels. The JS INEOS Insight has also been adorned with the King of Fire dragon, representing strength and vigour, while the JS INEOS Ingenuity bears the King of Water dragon, a symbol of good fortunes ahead. 

At 180 metres long and 26.6 metres wide, with a draft of approximately nine metres, they are the world’s largest multigas LNG-ethane carriers.

“In this chemical business, the setup and context is totally new,” said Jens Karlsson, General Manager, Sales, Wärtsilä Marine Solutions, noting that at 27,500 m3, the vessels have taken a leap from the class’s average size. “It’s a different mindset on how to build.” 

For the first ship, delivered by Sinopacific Offshore & Engineering (SOE) shipyard in China, Wärtsilä supplied two Wärtsilä 50DF dual-fuel engines, propulsion equipment including the gearbox, two 20DF auxiliary generating sets, a Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) fuel system and a cargo handling system. 

“The delivery of the first in this series of the Dragon class vessels marks the beginning of a new era in the transportation of liquefied gases,” Evergas CEO Steffen Jacobsen commented earlier this year. Wärtsilä has since received repeat orders.

It stands to note that Wärtsilä’s LNG supply system has been designed to help cool the cargo – gas cooling gas, essentially – which adds to the overall efficiency of the vessels. 

“The ship was not only designed for LNG. It’s basically a multigas ship,” said Göran Österdahl, Area General Manager.

 The new design has also taken a new tack on dealing with the boil-off in a less energy-consuming manner than traditional designs. 

 “What was interesting about this project was that we combined our brains to build one solution that would benefit the ship owner by operating the main engines on natural boil-off regardless of whether the fuel is LNG or LEG (Liquified Ethane Gas),” said Österdahl. “Normally, if you can’t use the boil-off you turn it back to liquid, but with Evergas you can also run the engines on this gas, which potentially could save the energy used for handling the cargo by up to 70%.

“We are very pleased that the Wärtsilä engines will be capable of utilising ethane boil-off gas as fuel. It increases our operational efficiency and improves flexibility in the bunkering of fuels,” the Evergas CEO added. “All in all it results in a significant reduction in operating costs, while also providing a minimal environmental footprint. It also enables us to offer our customers increased flexibility, which has a monetary value to them.”

The company has a long history of tailoring vessels for its customers. The Danish operator will in total set sail to eight of the new vessels for its client INEOS. The fleet will transport American shale-gas ethane to INEOS’ manufacturing sites in Grangemouth, Scotland, and Rafnes, Norway, to support the company’s medium-term goal to meet the challenge of costly and declining North Sea gas. 

 “The increased ethane volumes, lifted on the expanded Evergas Dragon fleet, will support the company’s competitiveness in Europe,” David Thompson, COO INEOS Trading & Shipping, said in a press release.

The Wärtsilä technology will also help INEOS to comply with current and anticipated environmental legislation, including the International Maritime Organization’s (IMO) Tier III regulations. The Wärtsilä technology also allows for flexibility and deals with redundancy, because as a multigas vessel it can switch between fuels according to need. 

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