HullWiper | LNG powered ships are on the rise

LNG powered ships are on the rise

25 Nov 2020

The Rise in LNG Powered Ships

Liquefied natural gas or LNG is natural gas that has been converted to liquid form for ease and safety of storage or transport. In January 1945 a cargo ship named Marline Hitch set sail from the United States carrying the world's first ocean cargo of LNG to the United Kingdom.

This September, a first of its kind, Very Large Containership fueled by liquefied natural gas (LNG) left the shipyard of Hyundai Samho Heavy Industries towards one of the world’s biggest ship owners Singapore’s Eastern Pacific Shipping (EPS).

This could be a sneak peek at a new wave of LNG-powered ships in the future. According to the Managing Director of Pavilion Energy, Alan Heng, there are currently around 556 LNG-capable vessels worldwide but this number is projected to grow to more than 8,000 by 2030.

From cruise ships to bulk carriers, shipowners in various divisions are progressively looking to LNG-powered vessels to meet the International Maritime Organization's (IMO) environmental regulations which are calling for ship emissions to be reduced by more than 30% by 2025, 40% by 2030 and 70% reductions by 2050.

As LNG production capacity builds globally, it is important for financiers and investors to encourage shipowners to transition to reduced fuel consumption to create a lower carbon footprint. Did you know that even mild hull fouling can cause significant water resistance and increase fuel consumption? So much so that a 1% increase in water resistance can result in a 3% increase in fuel consumption.

The below graph shows that through regular hull cleaning, a vessel’s constant speed of 15-knots can be maintained while using the same levels of fuel. Without regular hull cleaning, and using the same fuel amounts, the vessel’s speed and performance drops dramatically. It is evident that regular scheduled cleaning creates significant fuel savings.

The importance of hull cleaning is obvious but choosing the right method can be challenging. Although the industry-known methods of traditional brush cleaning using divers and water jets using Remotely Operated Vehicles (ROV) both serve the same purpose, ROV cleaning offers significant advantages.

  1. Cleaning with an ROV leaves expensive antifouling coatings intact during and after cleaning a vessel hull whereas diver and brush removes between 10 -30% of the expensive coating.
  2. Using water pressure as a cleaning medium, ROV’s do not create grooves on the hull surface whereas brushes abrade the anti-fouling surface causing grooves that can stimulate regrowth of algae, barnacles and slime.
  3. Traditional diver and brush methods increase the risk to human life where there are zero risks to human life using the ROV.

HullWiper’s underwater ROV not only provides the above-mentioned benefits but is also fitted with a light and camera, allowing its operator to record and control the entire cleaning process. Once the cleaning pressure has been selected, the unit automatically maintains the same pressure until instructed otherwise by the operator. HullWiper only uses seawater, via adjustable jets, during the cleaning process and removes debris captured on its onboard filter unit for eco-friendly disposal onshore.

Try our Fuel Savings Calculator to see how efficient your fleet will be with HullWiper or get in touch via [email protected] for more information.