Marine technology company Wartsila has secured an order for the installation of its new Compact Reliq reliquefaction plant on two new liquefied natural gas (LNG) carriers.

The ships will be constructed at the Hyundai Heavy Industries shipyard in South Korea for Norway-based Knutsen OAS Shipping.

The order includes an option for two additional vessels. It was signed with Wartsila last month.

Based on the reversed nitrogen Brayton cycle refrigeration technology, the Compact Reliq solution is designed to reliquefy the boil-off gas (BOG) from gas carriers and LNG bunker vessels.

The technology also keeps the cargo cool under all operating circumstances.

In addition, it enables a portion of the BOG to be used as fuel for the ship’s engines while the excess can be sold as part of the LNG cargo.

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By GlobalData

Knutsen OAS Group newbuilding director Jarle Østenstad said: “Wartsila is a trusted partner with whom we have worked in the past. The first generation nitrogen-based reliquefaction plants is highly reliable, efficient, and of good quality, so we had no hesitation in selecting the Compact Reliq for these new LNG carriers.”

Wartsila sales and marketing director Kjell Ove Ulstein said: “These will be the first installations for the Compact Reliq reliquefaction solution. We are very proud of this latest addition to our portfolio of gas value-chain products and systems, and this order provides a positive indication that the market is ready to embrace it.”

As part of Wartsila’s Operational Performance Improvement and Monitoring (OPERIM) programme, the system will be instrumented for online operational support and remote monitoring.

The equipment will be delivered to the yard starting in February 2022.

The vessels are expected to commence commercial operations from late 2022.

Wartsila had earlier supplied the previous generation reliquefaction plants for six of the Knutsen OAS Shipping’s vessels.

Wartsila Compact Reliq is compact in design, making it easier to retrofit on existing vessels without the need for extensive alterations.

The company said that the technology features high-reliability and minimal maintenance requirement, and the refrigeration process uses safe and easily obtainable commercial-grade nitrogen.

In November, Wartsila signed LNG support agreements for eight LNG carrier vessels owned by Teekay Gas, a unit of the global Teekay Group.

As part of the contract, the company will offer both remote and 24/7 technical support for the vessels’ on board Gas Process Plants.

The two five-year agreements include four vessels each. They were signed in August and September.