KLAW LNG has introduced a solution for ship-to-ship bunkering of LNG fuel on board its Cardissa vessel following a collaboration with Royal Dutch Shell.

The Signum Technology subsidiary has engineered a compact level 2 Safety Integrity Level and Safety Instrumented System (SILSIS) transfer system, enabling Cardissa to become the world’s first SIL2 hose transfer system (HTS) for a bunkering vessel.

Royal Dutch Shell assisted with the development of the system on the ship, which is KLAW LNG’s specialised LNG bunker vessel.

Signum Technology sales and compliance director Jeff Vile said: “The question of safety is always the main driver of technology in LNG transfer, and ship-to-ship bunkering is innately challenging due to the need to factor in adverse tide and weather conditions and the unpredictable movement of the two vessels.

“We are particularly proud that this is the world’s first SIL2 compliant ship-to-ship bunkering HTS system, largely due to the fully automated, programme logic controlled safety instrumented system, designed to continuously monitor and diagnose for the highest levels of safety and operational readiness.”

Vile stated that the new system’s architecture would diminish the level of human input in the transfer system arrangement and operation, significantly cutting the risk of human error.

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In addition, the integral two-stage ESD emergency shutdown system can be automatically activated by vessel movement or manually by the crew.

As well as closing cargo transfer pumps and separating transfer lines, the first stage ESD1 triggers a warning alarm to help prevent transfer and mitigate the risk of spillage.

Also activatable automatically and manually, the second stage ESD2 triggers emergency release couplings and separates the transfer system.

Having now been installed, the system has carried out its first ship-to-ship bunkering of LNG fuel to the LNG-powered Aframax tanker Gagarin, which belongs to the Russian shipping company Sovcomflot and is situated in the Port of Rotterdam, the Netherlands.

Vile added: “It gives us a great deal of satisfaction to see that the investment Signum Technology has made in KLAW LNG and in the other associated companies in the group results in such outstanding technical excellence.”