Engines 'in better shape' with LNG bunkers: Viking Grace engineer

Engineer notes improvement compared to ships running on regular fuel.

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Updated on 15 Dec 2017 11:28 GMT

The second engineer of Viking Line's LNG-fuelled cruise vessel, the Viking Grace, says he has noticed an improvement in the condition of its engines, compared to ships using regular fuel, during the time it has been running on LNG.

"When we conduct inspections or make repairs, we notice that everything is in better shape, especially the engines, from using clean LNG fuel," engineer Roope Nieminen commented in a company video, released this week.

Nieminen also noted that the ship was "much easier to keep clean than older ships would be", that there was less noise on board and improved mechanical operating capacity.

Delivered in January 2013, the Viking Grace receives LNG five to six days a week. The average quantity delivered is around 60 tonnes and the whole operation usually takes about 40 minutes while the vessel is docked in the morning at Stadsgarden in central Stockholm.

"We started this project in 2007," Kari Granberg, Manager NB Project & Technical Development, Viking Line, explained. "Fuel was our biggest challenge. But as AGA was to complete its new terminal in Nynashamn in 2011, this provided a solution."

AGA's solution to supply Viking Grace with LNG was to build a special tanker to provide large quantities of fuel quickly during short visits to harbours. This tanker, the Seagas - operated by Swedish firm AGA Gas AB - is designed especially for this kind of fuel delivery.

"It was a long process for all of us, not just for the ship itself. The entire refuelling operation had never been done before. We had to create the whole bunkering procedure," said Jonas Akermark, LNG Specialist Marine, AGA Gas.

According to Granberg, fuel consumption is 20 to 25 percent lower than what Viking Line had expected.

"We have achieved all our goals. Viking Grace with LNG is a success story," Granberg said.

"LNG is destined to be the fuel of our next generation of ships. Without a doubt," he added.