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Klaw LNG develops LNG bunkering transfer system

Published by , Senior Editor
Hydrocarbon Engineering,

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

“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 […] 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 emergency shutdown (ESD) 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.

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