Swedish solution for marine pollution

01 Dec 1999

While the building of merchant ships has all but ended in Sweden, marine technology continues to thrive - especially that connected with reducing emissions. A prime example of this is ABB Flakt which has the longest running catalytic converter in a merchant ship - the Scandlines ferry Aurora. These SCRs have clocked up between 45,000 and 50,000 operating hours with the engines running on MDO.

Per Holmstrom, manager for environmental protection at ABB Flakt, says that recent exhaust measurements show NOx reductions remain at 97-98 per cent, while hydrocarbons and CO reductions are 88 and 53 per cent respectively. Without the expense of replacement elements, the additional operating cost is that of the urea which is used as a 40 per cent aqueous solution and consumed at around the rate of 14 litres/MWh.

The company has a total of 84 SCRs either operating in ships or on order. Recent deliveries include two shipsets to Astilleros Espanole for a pair of Finnlines ferries Finneagle and Finnexpress. These Seapacer class vessels will run on HFO with a 1 per cent sulphur content with NOx emissions of 0.5-0.6 g/kWh. During commissioning and delivery Finneagle used HFO with a 2.6 per cent sulphur content which does not appear to have harmed the catalyst.

NOx is not a problem for turbine manufacturer ABB Stal - now called ABB Alstom Power following the formation of a partnership between the two companies (The Motor Ship, May 1999). David Nordlander of marine business development says the effect of the changes on the marine side is still unclear. He confirms that neither the GT35-powered Stena Carisma nor Buquebus` Luciano Federico have yet converted to run on IF30.

Hans Yansson, marketing director for Kamewa, says the company is having a mixed year in that it has signed contracts for a record number of propellers, but the market for waterjets is currently depressed. The company has signed a memorandum of understanding with FastShip to develop the 50MW waterjets the project requires. However, Mr Yansson points out that Kamewa does not have the contract to manufacture the units, and it is unclear where the waterjets would be manufactured if it did win the business.

Overall he says the waterjet market is only 30 per cent of the level two years ago, which he feels is due to owners` uncertainty in the aftermath of the abolition of duty-free sales. It has also taken some time for Asian markets to recover from the currency problems in the region.

Where trade is much more brisk is in the high performance ropax vessels with a service speed of 28 to 30 knots. This year Kamewa has taken orders for 20 shipsets of the high-skew CP propellers used on these vessels from yards as far apart as China and Germany.

Another Swedish company bringing new product to the market is Alfa Laval with its Separation Unit (The Motor Ship, July 1999). The company says the SU has been well received by shipowners and shipyards. A large number of units have already been ordered including 40 for Polish shipyard Stocznia Szczecinska for fitting onto eight chemical tankers being built for the Greek owner Ceres Hellenic. Szczecin representative Andrzej Szymanski says the SU`s compact design and easy installation makes it a very interesting product. The SU is also being used as a retrofit replacement on Odfjell`s 1982-built 18.657 dwt tanker Bow Saphir (a SU 300). Another eight SUs will replace the eight Wartsila Lacta separators in two 25-year old Finnish icebreakers.

Retrofitting pressure sensors to its TankRadar system to help tanker operators comply with Regulation 59 of Solas has been good business for Saab over the past year. Marine marketing manager Per Svensson calculates that, at the start of the year, the company had a 51 per cent share of the level gauging market for ocean going tankers. It has also won its first newbuilding order for a new LPG level gauging system for the vessels Shell is having built at Hyundai (Hull Nos 1295/96).

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