ABB highlights electric potential for LNG carriers

Industry Database

ABB has commissioned research that it says confirms that dual-fuel diesel electric propulsion - when employed optimally and in combination with waste energy recovery technologies - can be more fuel efficient than alternative propulsion means for LNG carriers.

DNV GL conducted an analysis of dual-fuel diesel electric (DFDE) propulsion under realistic operating conditions. Propulsion power as well as electricity and steam demands were considered under three representative profiles, based on distance-specific trade routes for a typical twin-skeg gas carrier with a cargo capacity of 174,000m3.

Heikki Soljama, managing director of ABB Marine and Ports, commented: “This study is very important because it reflects the complexity of an LNG carrier and includes realistic operating profiles rather than hypotheticals. It shows that DFDE configurations have the potential to be a fuel efficient solution. Combine this with its proven track record, flexibility in operation and adaptability to energy storage, it can be a competitive business case for ship owners.”

The study indicated that DFDE can potentially be a more fuel-efficient solution than the alternatives considered, when combined with energy recovery technologies and optimally operated.  Depending on the specific speed profile and fuel costs, annual fuel savings can be considerable, ABB noted.

Dual-fuel diesel electric propulsion was first ordered for an LNG carrier in 2003 and has since been installed on 180 vessels. ABB also highlighted the propulsion mode’s compatibility with technologies expected to enhance efficiency in future, including fuel cells and advanced energy storage.

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