Norway-based shipping company Knutsen has ordered four new 174,000-cubic-metre liquefied natural gas (LNG) carriers that will be chartered to energy giant Shell, which also supplies lubricant distributors.
The vessels, which Hyundai Samho Heavy Industries and Hyundai Heavy Industries will build, will feature air lubrication systems to improve fuel efficiency and dual fuel X-DF engines, which in addition to diesel can run on LNG to achieve much lower emissions than required under IMO Tier III standards.
Shell’s vice president for shipping and maritime, Dr. Grahaeme Henderson, said the new ships would benefit the company by achieving greater fuel efficiency, lower emissions and helping to deliver LNG to global customers reliably and safely. He added that introducing systems for digitally managing performance and enhancing machinery and hull design had helped make ships 40% more fuel efficient than their equivalents in 2008. Dr. Henderson added:
“We have taken further steps with the addition of energy efficient technologies on these ships, such as air lubrication, making a substantial reduction in the carbon intensity of our operations.”
Shell also recently signed agreements with Global Meridian Holdings Limited and Korea Line Corporation for two LNG carriers each. Natural gas often comes as a byproduct of oil production, but it may be vented or flared if there is insufficient domestic demand or export pipeline capacity. LNG carriers can help address this problem by efficiently transporting LNG to markets that may otherwise consume more polluting fossil fuels, such as coal.