BP Shipping has taken delivery of the first in a series of six liquefied natural gas (LNG) carriers to be delivered through 2018 and 2019 from South Korea’s DSME shipyard.
The new Partnership-class carrier is equipped with two, next-generation M-type, electronically controlled, gas-injection (ME-GI) propulsion systems and a full reliquefaction system (FRS) designed by DSME.
The vessel’s ‘slow speed’ tri-fuel engines have their own shaft, propeller and rudder, and are also developed to use compressed ‘boil-off’ gas from cargo tanks as fuel.
Unlike the existing LNG carriers that use boil-off gas to power a steam turbine or dual fuel / diesel-electric engines, the new Partnership vessel features a five-stage compressor that increases the pressure of the gas from just above atmospheric pressure to 300bar before sending it to the engines for fuel or to the reliquefaction system.
Using the re-liquefaction plant, up to 70% of the gas discharged from the compressor can be cooled to a temperature where it returns to liquid form.
This liquid can be pumped back to the cargo tanks to enable the ship to deliver more LNG to the market.
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The new vessel is also equipped with an exhaust gas recirculation system to lower nitrogen oxide emissions and a gas combustion system to reduce the potential for releasing methane into the atmosphere.
Among various solutions, the vessel features waste management technologies and a solution to minimise the threat of piracy.
BP Shipping technical vice-president Oli Beavon said: “BP is set to increase its LNG supply significantly over the next four years thanks, largely, to new projects in the US, and off the coast of Mozambique.
“The new Partnership-class ships will give us the necessary capacity to transport those extra volumes around the world.”
The new Partnership class carriers are also expected to help BP to grow its natural gas portfolio as an alternative energy source to coal and as a partner for renewables.