Aker Arctic Technology Inc
14:30 - 15:00
Tuesday, 17 September 2019
T1.1 Arctic LNG Carriers - key technology to overcome ice challenges
Arctic regions hold a massive amounts of gas resources. However, over the decades those resources have been unreachable in the use as LNG and for shipping. The reason is extremely difficult sea conditions due to the ice in the winter time. Latest technology developed in the past years made it possible to design and built such arctic LNG carriers which can sail through ice and transport LNG in feasible way. This paper describes the long term technical development required to overcome these problems. Development included new ideas, large tank testing campaigns and new type of propulsion units for these vessels. Because LNG carries are large size vessels, it brought a completely new challenge. The design would be many times bigger than any other icebreaking vessel ever built before. Additionally extreme outside temperatures, of -50 degrees, caused various technical issue’s both on the steel hull of the vessel as well as systems on the deck and loading. Even the LNG driven Dual Fuel engine systems posed a problem with too low load response times, which was fundamental, but an alternative way to avoid the problem was developed. At the same time one of largest challenge was to keep safety issues in mind, but most importantly remain the economic feasibility of such ships and their capability transport LNG from the production terminals to the import terminal’s. Finally the LNG Carrier solution selected for the actual project owned by Yamal LNG, was a very special and unique concept of Double Acting vessel. It means the vessel is designed to sail in two directions. Either ahead or astern. By sailing astern the Carrier may utilise such hull form and propulsion system which is most efficient in icebreaking sailing, as well when sailing in normal conditions the ship sails forward as any other ship. This unique concept is today proved by ships operating in the arctic, including the only series of Arctic LNG ever built so far. Paper explains the iterative path of making the design choices, both on technical view as well as operative and commercial point of view. One of the key observation of this kind of the development is to note the need for the persistent approach, in order to keep stakeholders interested and confirmed that solutions can be made, there was initially no proof of such vessels performance, somebody must be the pioneers, and first ever Arctic LNG Carriers started their operation last year.