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  • 2016 November 23 10:31

    The 7th Motorship Gas Fuelled Ships Conference takes place at Hamburg

    The 7th Motorship Gas Fuelled Ships Conference took place on the 16-18 November at the Grand Elysee Hotel, Hamburg, Germany. Discussion at this year’s Gas Fuelled Ships conference suggested that the tide is turning for LNG as marine fuel, with increasing numbers of projects turning from concept to reality.

    Opening the first day of the conference, Lars Robert Pedersen, deputy secretary general of BIMCO, pondered whether factors such as the MEPC decision to impose a global sulphur cap in 2020 and the consensus to reduce emissions embodied by the Paris Agreement would be enough to accelerate the uptake of LNG, or whether financial and regulatory obstacles would continue to hinder development. DNV GL’s Torsten Schramm argued that the spread of LNG into new sectors – notably the cruise market, with 11 LNG-fuelled vessels ordered in the past 18 months – was an important sign of progress.

    Throughout the conference, the growing uptake of LNG across sectors and regions was evidenced by a wide range of presentations of new projects either completed or well underway. Among the vessels already in service, Damen’s inland waterway tanker Ecoliner was presented by Simon Provoost, product director, Inland Waterway Transport, Damen Shipyards.

    Day two kicked off with an introduction from Chairman, Don Gregory, Managing Director of Sustainable Maritime Solutions Ltd. This was followed later by a live interview with Peter Keller, executive vice president of Tote Inc and chairman of the SEA\LNG consortium, covering the role that the new group will play in driving the uptake of gas as a marine fuel. Drawing on experiences from Tote’s own LNG projects – including the construction of the first newbuild gas-fuelled containerships to employ dual-fuel engines – Keller explained how SEA\LNG hoped to prove the commercial case for LNG.

    Looking further into the future, the conference heard from two key partners behind the Project Forward plan who are to design an economical and retrofittable LNG solution for ocean going vessels presented a project update. Konstantinos Fakiolas of Deltamarin and Antonis Trakakis, technical director, Arista Shipping provided an explanation of the equipment selection process for the project – including an assessment of available LNG engine technology – and reported that they had now invited further ship owners to join the project.

    Advances in LNG engine technology were discussed in more detail during a dedicated engine technology panel, featuring the major two-stroke engine designers MAN Diesel & Turbos and WinGD, and gas turbine supplier GE Marine and Kawasaki Heavy Industries representing the four-stroke sector. Mark Lipton, director of commercial applications at GE Marine Solutions, explored some of the advantages offered by using gas turbines for applications traditionally relying on piston engines.

    LNG was not the only alternative marine fuel discussed at the conference, Methanol and other lowflashpoint fuels were also considered in two dedicated sessions. The recent delivery of the first methanol-fuelled two-stroke driven vessels, seven methanol carriers chartered to Methanex
    subsidiary Waterfront Shipping Co, was used as a valuable case study. René Sejer Laursen and Michel Hamrouni, Methanex explained the rational for methanol as a marine fuel and presented how the fuel was employed on the recently completed methanol carriers.

    The conference programme was complemented by technical visits. On Thursday evening delegates took part in a tour, sponsored by Wärtsilä, of the AG Ems LNG-fuelled ferry Ostfriesland, the first German ship to be converted for LNG fuel. And on Friday a visit to Meyer Werft gave delegates an insight into operations at one of the world’s leading cruise ship builders, with seven LNG-fuelled vessels on order for Carnival Corp brands.

    The 2016 Gas Fuelled Ships Conference follows six incredibly successful conferences, held in 2010 in Hamburg, 2011 in Rotterdam, 2012 in Bergen, 2013 on board the M/S Viking Grace, 2014 in Stavanger and in 2015 it was once again held in Hamburg.

    ABOUT THE ORGANISERS
    Established in 1989 British based Mercator Media Ltd is a privately-owned events, magazines and online publishing business, primarily specialising in the commercial marine sector.


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