Norwegian firm wins contract from Germany for LNG systems for vessels operating in hazardous roles

Wednesday, 10 February 2021
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Høglund Marine, the Norwegian company specializing in both retrofit and newbuild projects, has signed a contract to supply an advanced LNG Fuel Gas Supply System for three German ships owned by the German Federal Government to be deployed in hazardous roles.

The customised Fuel Gas Supply Systems (FGSS) have been developed to allow the LNG-fuelled vessels to take on hazardous roles such as pollution control, emergency towing and firefighting.

Høglund, based in Tønsberg in southeast Norway, signed the agreements with the Abeking and Rasmussen (A&R) shipyard for three multipurpose vessels ordered by the German government’s Federal Waterways and Shipping Administration.

The design and construction of the three vessels is being supervised by the Federal Waterways Engineering and Research Institute.

To meet the advanced specifications for the LNG system that ensures safe operation in hazardous atmospheres, Høglund will be collaborating with HB Hunte Engineering, headquartered in Oldenburg in the northern German state of Lower Saxony.

“This project makes A&R the only shipyard worldwide offering LNG-fuelled vessels that are qualified to operate in hazardous atmospheres,” said Høglund.

These 90-metre-plus vessels will be equipped with engines generating up to 12,000kW and 145 tonnes of bollard pull, and will have a top speed greater than 15 knots.

The three vessels will also be exclusively LNG-powered. Although suitable for worldwide operation, they will be deployed within the German coastline where they will carry out works on sea marks, pollution control and utilising hydroacoustic equipment as well as in pollution control, emergency towing and firefighting.

Høglund explained that given the intended versatility and multiple roles of the vessels and the hazardous atmospheres they will operate in there are obvious additional safety requirements.

“Consequently, the yard alongside their federal supervisor and owner are placing extra consideration on the design of the LNG system,” said the Norwegian company.

To meet these specifications, A&R, Høglund and HB Hunte Engineering have collaborated to develop a dedicated gas safety concept.

“With Høglund taking responsibility for the overall FGSS product delivery, HB Hunte will contribute a unique LNG tank design, pipe engineering and integration of the LNG system into the wider vessel architecture,” said Høglund.

“Combining skills and expertise in this way is key to supporting the greater safety measures required for special vessels of this type,” it added.

Høglund said that equipping an LNG-fuelled vessel to conduct waterborne firefighting, pollution control and emergency response missions is a particular challenge, as safety must be guaranteed.

The design of the new vessels will meet the requirements of UK maritime classification society, Lloyds Register, and satisfy the strict rules for gas and low flashpoint fuels (IGF Code) aggravated by operation in hazardous atmosphere (gas protection operation).

“With increased uptake of LNG as an alternative fuel, it is important that systems such as the FGSS and dedicated automation are in place to support its safe and effective use,” said Peter Morsbach, a Vice President at Høglund.

“We must take into account complex safety concerns stemming from impacts on the operational profile and atmosphere,” he added.

“In this case here, the focus lies on the system’s safety concept and related design measures in terms of the tank connection spaces, gas treatment rooms, ventilation and monitoring,” stated Morsbach.

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