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KLAW LNG announces new STS bunkering system

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LNG Industry,

KLAW LNG has delivered a new LNG ship-to-ship (STS) bunkering solution.

Working with Royal Dutch Shell on its specialised LNG bunker vessel Cardissa, KLAW LNG has successfully engineered a compact Level 2 Safety Integrity Level and Safety Instrumented System (SILSIS) transfer system which has enabled the Cardissa to become the world’s first bunkering vessel to have a SIL2 HTS (hose transfer system).

“The question of safety is always the main driver of technology in LNG transfer and ship-to-ship bunkering is innately challenging due to the need to factor in adverse tide and weather conditions and the unpredictable movement of the two vessels,” explains Jeff Vile, Signum Technology’s Sales and Compliance Director. “At a very early stage in the project we took the view that it was necessary to innovate and drive the technology forward, not just to meet the rigorous safety standard but also to achieve a level of operational efficiency that far exceeds any other.

“We are particularly proud that this is the world’s first SIL2 compliant ship-to-ship bunkering HTS system, largely due to the fully-automated programme logic controlled (PLC) safety instrumented system, designed to continuously monitor and diagnose for the highest levels of safety and operational readiness,” says Vile. “The architecture removes almost all human inputs from the transfer system set up and operation. This maximises cost efficient availability and vastly reduces the potential for human error. It also ensures that the components work seamlessly together and can be effectively managed over the system’s entire life cycle.”

The integral two-stage ESD emergency shutdown system provides an escalated response on demand, triggered automatically by vessel movement or manually by the crew. The first stage ESD1 shuts down cargo transfer pumps and isolates transfer lines, sounding a warning alarm. These measures inhibit the transfer and mitigate the risk of spillage.

The second stage ESD2, which is also activated automatically or manually, activates emergency release couplings and separates the transfer system.

Following its successful installation, the system has now proved its operational effectiveness, completing its first ship-to-ship bunkering of LNG fuel to Russian shipping company Sovcomflot’s (SCF Group) LNG-powered Aframax tanker Gagarin Prospect - the first time LNG ship-to-ship bunkering was undertaken in the Port of Rotterdam and the first LNG bunkering of an Aframax tanker.

“KLAW LNG has a reputation for engineering excellence and has established very close professional links with many leading global businesses in the sector, including Royal Dutch Shell,” says Vile. “In choosing to work with us on this truly ground-breaking technology Shell demonstrates that it prioritises ultimate levels of safety and is prepared to make an appropriate investment to achieve what is unquestionably the highest standard in the industry.

“It gives us a great deal of satisfaction to see that the investment Signum Technology has made in KLAW LNG and in the other associated companies in the group results in such outstanding technical excellence,” Vile concludes.

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LNG carrier news LNG bunkering news