The first ethane-powered ship, JS Ineos Insight, the leading ship in a series of eight 27,500-cubic-meter multi-gas Dragon-class vessels being built at Sinopacific, China, for Denmark’s Evergas, was named on July 14. The new vessels configured for transport of ethane, LPG or LNG, with options for ethane, LNG and conventional diesel power, will be classed by classification society Bureau Veritas.
“The ability to burn ethane as well as LNG to power these unique vessels is a major step forward in the use of clean fuels. It means the vessels can use cargo gas during transits to provide a clean and clear commercial and environmental advantage,” said Bureau Veritas’ business development manager, Martial Claudepierre. “We have worked with Evergas and the Danish Maritime Authority to verify and ensure that the use of ethane is at least as safe as required by the IGC and will not impair the engine compliance with MARPOL Annex VI.”
The Dragon vessels were originally designed with a dual-fuel LNG/diesel power utilizing two 1,000-cubic-meter LNG tanks on deck powering two Wärtsilä 6L20 DF main engines with a total of 2,112 kilowatts power and two shaft generators with a total of 3,600 kilowatts power. The ability to also burn ethane was added to allow use of the cargo gas as the vessels are destined initially for transport of ethane from the U.S. to the U.K. Ineos refineries.
Evergas, a wholly owned by Greenship Gas and JACCAR Holdings, has a large new-building program of ethylene, ethane and LNG multi-gas carriers.
Claudepierre said, “Using ethane required extra engine room ventilation and additional gas detection, plus modifications to the main engines including a lower compression ratio, different turbocharger nozzles and de-rating of the engine to cope with the lower knocking resistance of ethane. But the gains in not carrying an additional fuel and in environmental performance from being able to burn clean fuel throughout the voyage are significant.”