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BUNKER INDEX :: Price Index, News and Directory Information for the Marine Fuel Industry
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Skangas delivers first fuel switch to LNG in open sea

Bunker firm hails benefits of supplying LNG to ships while transiting between ports.

Updated on 11 Oct 2017 11:01 GMT

Skangas announced on Wednesday that its chartered bunker supply vessel, the Coralius, performed its first LNG bunker delivery in open sea to a vessel that cooled down its tanks in order to switch from diesel oil to LNG.

The receiving vessel, the ethane/ethylene-capable liquefied gas carrier Navigator Aurora, was supplied with just under 500 metric tonnes of LNG in the middle of a voyage between Sweden and South Europe. The complete operation took place at Danafjord, outside Gothenburg, over the weekend and the operation was described by Skangas as "a great success".

Combined cool-down and LNG supply operation

Switching from diesel oil to LNG requires a cooling down operation of the receiving ship's fuel gas tanks from ambient conditions to minus 160 degrees. This operation is time-consuming but necessary. The Navigator Aurora's design allows it to pre-cool its fuel gas tanks before LNG spray is introduced, thus reducing the cooling down period considerably. All in all, the bunker operation took less than 24 hours, with the transfer of the main parcel taking six hours.

'Milestone' delivery

Bunkering of the Navigator Aurora was different to other Coralius bunkering operations as it included the cool-down operation. Also, it was the largest bunker delivery performed by the Coralius so far.

Skangas said: "The operation that took place over the weekend is a milestone for the industry and proves that with careful planning and teamwork this type of operation where LNG bunkers is supplied to vessels whilst transiting between ports is not only efficient but also very safe."

"The Navigator Aurora is the world's largest type-c ethane/ethylene carrier and we just proved our ability to serve yet another shipping segment. We experience an increased interest from diversified ship owners to take LNG bunker directly from a bunker vessel," commented Gunnar Helmen, Sales Manager Marine at Skangas. "Due to this operation together with the team on Navigator Aurora we also gained a lot of valuable experience."

Tommy Hjalmas, Director of Newbuilds and Special Projects at Navigator Gas, remarked: "The LNG cooling and bunker operation is a first for us and we spent lots of time in the planning and execution with all stakeholders to get it right. We are very happy with the result and hope to be able to use the experiences we have gained to support the industry also going forward."

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