At recent SMM fair in Hamburg, organisers put a large emphasis on presentation of innovative solutions in the range of ecological vessel engines. A special hall with surface area of 3.5 thousand m2 was intended for their presentation. Within this scope, Polish shipyards, which have greater and greater experience in construction of vessels with ecological drive, are doing very well.
One of the last products was a specialist ship of Cable Lay Vessel type (CLV) intended for handling underwater cables. Siem Aimery vessel was constructed in Remontowa Shipbuilding shipyard in Gdańsk for Norwegian freighter Siem Offshore, and it is worth underlining that the vessel was equipped just with the innovative diesel-electric drive. A series of five Platform Supply Vessels (PSV) is being under construction in Gdańsk for the same freighter. They are the first vessels of this type with LNG drive which will be built in Poland in their entirety. Ultimately, they will handle Norske Shell oilfield on the North Sea.
In addition, the shipyard in Gdańsk, which can already pride itself on 15 vessels supplied by LNG, is building three modern ferries of “Salish-Class” series for Canadian operator BC Ferries. They will be propelled by dual-fuel engines using gas fuel. Whereas, Remontowa SA Shipyard in Gdańsk has won a contract for modernisation of two ferries of “Spirit” class, of the same Canadian freighter, which will mainly include their adaptation to LNG combustion. It is the first contract for this type of project won by a Polish shipyard. Earlier, the GSR was adapting one of engines of Stena Germanica ferry, belonging to Swedish freighter Stena Line, to use another ecological fuel, i.e. methanol.
In previous years, Remontowa Shipbuilding shipyard produced e.g. such vessels as an almost emission-free ferry with gas and electrical drive which was constructed for Samsø, a Danish island in central Jutland, and the whole series of double-ended passenger and vehicle ferries, propelled by LNG, for Norwegian freighters Torghatten Nord AS and Fjord1. As a matter of fact, ferries built in Gdańsk, propelled by LNG, have already received recognition on the market. This is exemplified by the title of the “Ecological Ship of the Year” received by Moldefjord fjord ferry in 2010.
It is worth emphasising, though, that specialists are quite sceptical about further development of fleet propelled by gas. Currently, it includes 79 vessels. However, low prices of crude oil and, consequently, of marine fuel and other alternative ways of adapting to requirements of the sulphur directive cause that freighters suspend investments in the range of building vessels propelled by LNG or their conversion into gas fuel.
The issue of ships with ecological drive is to be discussed during the Maritime Industries Panel at the Maritime Economy Forum Gdynia 2016.
photography. Tadeusz Urbaniak/ZMPG-a S.A