Hoglund lands automation system contract for BSM's LNG bunkering vessel

Automation system contract is Norwegian firm's third for an LNG delivery barge.

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Updated on 26 Apr 2017 07:29 GMT

Marine automation specialist Hoglund Marine Automation has secured a contract to supply automation systems for an LNG bunkering vessel ordered by Bernhard Schulte Shipmanagement (BSM), which is to be chartered by LNG supplier Nauticor.

BSM's gas supply vessel (GSV) is to be built at Hyundai Mipo Dockyard in Ulsan, South Korea. The keel is scheduled to be laid down in February 2018.

As the construction of LNG bunker barges is a relatively new development, Hoglund says the order places unique requirements on the automation systems it will provide, which include the vessel's power management system, additional systems that manage interactions between the ship machinery systems, and the cargo plant.

While LNG carriers have been in service for many years, and use boil-off gas to burn in their engines, bunkering barges must extract vapour from receiving ships to use as fuel. This requires additional interfaces between the gas plant and the rest of the ship, drastically increasing the complexity of the automation.

Of a small number of LNG bunkering vessels that currently exist, Hoglund automation solutions are present on three of them, including Shell's specialised LNG bunkering vessel now being built at STX in South Korea, and the Seagas - a bunkering vessel owned by AGA and operated by Sirius that has completed around 1,200 bunkering operations successfully.

Borge Nogva, CEO of Hoglund Marine Automation, said: "When creating automation solutions for an entirely new vessel sub-segment within LNG, it's hard to predict and foresee what challenges might emerge, which means you can't just use an off-the-shelf solution. By playing a consultative role throughout the design and build stages, and supporting vessels 24/7 once they begin operation, automation suppliers can deliver significant benefits in terms of reliability and efficiency, as these projects demonstrate."

Jeroen Deelen, Gas Tanker Director at BSM, remarked: "In a challenging shipbuilding market, automation suppliers need to compete on more than just cost. It comes down to the lifecycle support that suppliers offer to owners - the commitment from a maker that they will support you when it gets difficult. It's clear that Hoglund believes in LNG - the company has made a strategic decision to work with us and develop a product that is good for the industry, and we believe that this is a smart choice."

In addition to the automation systems on board, Hoglund also supports automation systems with remote access, thus allowing its engineers to resolve automation issues remotely and saving money and time that would otherwise be spent on sending engineers to vessels to upgrade software.

Image: Bernard Schulte Shipmanagement's new gas supply vessel (GSV) is to be operated by Nauticor.