In the recent past, Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) has been the focus of considerable interest as the important substitution of fuel oil. Growing need for clean energy in a number of regions is fueling this demand further.

The only economically viable method of transporting liquefied natural gas over long distances is via LNG carriers. LNG is carried in specially insulated containment tanks aboard purpose built vessels. It was reported, as of March 2017, the LNG fleet stood at over 480 vessels comprising over 70 million cubic meter of capacity.

In terms of the long-term newbuilding order perspective, the gradual improvement in gas price will continually support newbuilding of LNG-FSRU and LNG Carriers

AkzoNobel and the LNG fleet

Ship owners and operators have long recognised the benefits of applying a good quality coating system to LNG carriers at newbuilding. Often, it is the performance of the coating system in critical vessel areas of LNG carriers, which maintains the value of the asset throughout its working life.

Based on in-depth understanding of the specific needs of the LNG carrier operators, AkzoNobel’s International® range has provided high performance products that offer the best in-service performance for global LNG operators. AkzoNobel has an unrivalled successful experience in the coating of LNG carriers with over 1,000 vessel applications.

Long term asset value protection

With an operational requirement for the highest levels of corrosion protection, many operators have chosen Intershield® 300 on vessel areas which are structurally critical and difficult to maintain such as water ballast tanks. Superior coating performance of Intershield 300 has delivered long term asset value protection throughout the 30 years vessel life, exceeding the IMO Performance Standard for Protective Coatings (PSPC) basic requirements.

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Image Courtesy of SHI - Simultaneous naming ceremony for 4 QGTC LNGs in 2009

Intershield 300 has almost 30-year track record with over 20,000 vessels coated and was first used on LNG carriers in early 1990s. Since then, Intershield 300 has clearly demonstrated its ability to provide extremely high levels of abrasion resistance and corrosion protection under severe in-service conditions.

Choosing the correct high performance protection systems can help LNG carrier operators maximize returns on their substantial investments while ensuring long-term vessel safety, efficiency and asset value. The additional investment in Intershield 300 for upgraded performance in key vessel areas can amount to less than 1% of the total vessel cost; a small investment premium to pay for the total long term benefits package. In the last two years, over 60% of LNG newbuilding vessels in Korea have been protected by AkzoNobel.

Vessel operating efficiency

A critical requirement for LNG carriers is to arrive at their destination on time. Loss of speed due to hull fouling can result in not only delayed arrival times but also increased engine wear and fuel consumption.

Fouling control is thus a vital part of vessel operating efficiency – but this has traditionally proved difficult on LNG vessels with even the best biocide containing antifoulings succumbing to severe fouling attack.

Intersleek® 1100SR, a fluoropolymer foul release coating, is proving to be the ideal solution for LNG hull fouling control.

Since the first application of Intersleek at LNG Delta in 1999, over 500 LNG carriers have been coated with Intersleek products, which has a proven reliable antifouling performance, fuel saving potential and longevity of coating. At newbuilding in Korea, a total of 67 LNG carriers have been coated with Intersleek, including 2 LNG carriers from Knustsen which were delivered in 2016 by HHI.

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Intershield® 163 Inerta 160, which is by far the most widely known coating specifically designed to protect the hulls of ice trading vessels, has been specified for these special LNG carriers. Intershield Inerta 160 can help the vessels operating performance to proceed through ice up to 2.1m thick on a continuous basis and load cargoes in the Russian Arctic, all year-round.

Intershield Inerta 160, an abrasion resistant ice coating launched in 1972, has established an unrivalled in-service performance reputation. It protects the hull, keeps the average hull roughness down and coefficient of friction low, which is very important for the vessels, given the fact that increasing hull roughness has a significant effect on the efficiency of a vessel moving through water and ice.

The abrasion resistance and low frictional resistance of Intershield Inerta 160 has a beneficial effect on reducing vessel power consumption and therefore fuel consumption. A previous research has shown that, with this coating, it is possible to achieve an annual fuel saving of 7 to 10% when compared to a traditional anticorrosive system.

Specifically designed for operators that trade in ice sea condition, Intershield Inerta 160 has been specified and used successfully on over 1,500 vessels trading in ice for both Ice breakers, with the potential of trade in multi-year ice, and Ice class vessels that trade in first year ice.

Conclusion

Priorities for LNG carrier operators include controlling corrosion and protecting their asset value. They also need to minimize fouling to increase operating efficiency. AkzoNobel will keep providing the optimum coating solutions to global LNG carrier operators for their operational benefits.

@ Kim H.J. (Regional Marketing Manager, Korea & Japan)

 

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