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SHIPPING: New gas carriers from Lauritzen Kosan are designed in every detail to protect the environment

Photo: Director Jan Kastrup-Nielsen, Laurtizen A/S

Danish shipping is quickly establishing itself as a world leader. The Danish shipping industry itself believes this is due to the Quality Shipping concept, which the Danish Shipowners’ Association is operating with. High quality ships, well-trained sailors and advanced logistics systems all help to ensure deliveries without delays. On every benchmark criterion, Danish shipping companies are pushing the performance envelope.

One striking example is the building of 10 gas carriers which Danish shipping company Lauritzen Kosan has under construction in Korea. Right from the drawing board, these carriers are designed to set new standards for transporting Liquefied Petroleum Gas (LPG) and petrochemical gases on carriers.

Green Passport
“Before we designed the new carriers, we started thinking from first principles,” says director Jan Kastrup-Nielsen, Lauritzen Kosan A/S. “We took our core values as a starting point: Competence, Respect, Entrepreneurship, Accountability, Team Spirit and Enthusiasm, and asked ourselves how can we build better ships. Every part of the carrier was scru-tinised. This resulted in a large number of improvements, so our ships today are miles ahead of traditional gas carriers regarding the external and working environment, safety and effectiveness.” The 10 new vessels are the first gas carriers in the world built from the outset to meet the UN’s International Maritime Organization’s requirements for environmental friendliness – the Green Passport. This requires that all materials used in the carriers are registered so that the correct precautions are taken when the carriers are scrapped, and adverse environmental impacts are avoided.

“At some point it will be a requirement for all vessels,” says Kastrup-Nielsen. “We have implemented the Green Passport before it becomes compulsory, both to show that the environment matters to us and to keep ahead of the competition, despite the expense.”

Saving time and money
“To improve the carriers, we developed the idea of exploiting residual gases from the main tanks for fuel,” says Kastrup-Nielsen. “It reduces environmental impact as well as making the process of cleaning the cargo tanks more efficient. The gas products we carry often differ widely in structure and chemistry, and this requires careful cleaning when the cargo type is changed. In collaboration with the Danish company Oxymat, we have developed an advanced nitrogen plant which together with containerised deck tanks are central to making our cargo handling process more efficient. The plant carries the residual gases from the main cargo tanks up into two 20 foot container tanks placed on the deck. Whereas hitherto cleaning had to be carried out in port, it can now be done at sea, and when we arrive in port, loading can start immediately. It saves an amazing amount of both time and money.

Lauritzen Kosan’s new carriers also break with traditional thinking regarding release of residual gases from the main tanks. Instead of venting residual gases to the atmosphere, the shipping company has developed methods of utilising the gases for producing electrical power, or to add to existing gas cargos of the same type. The methods will reduce total gas release from the 10 carriers by approximately 4,000 tons annually, at the same time saving on heavy oil for generator operation.”

Danish subsuppliers
The Green Passport, the nitrogen plant and the development of the fuel system for the auxiliary engines are just three out of 39 improvements designed into Lauritzen Kosan’s 10 new gas carriers. Many of the improvements have been created in collaboration with other companies in the Danish shipping cluster. When the carriers are completed and sail from the Korean shipyard, components produced in Denmark or under licence from Danish companies will account for around 30% of the value.

“We have been right down into the details – whether it’s a pump, a hydraulic system, a manifold or a major upgrade of an important element such as crew’s quarters. It’s all part of setting new standards for what modern carriers can do. At the same time it gives us a competitive edge which few others can match. All of this is being done for the sake of our customers, to give them the best in terms of safety, environmental consciousness and effectiveness.”

This page forms part of the publication 'FOCUS Denmark' as chapter 15 of 23
Version 1. 22-05-2007
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