Page 29: of Maritime Reporter Magazine (March 2003)

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Spain speed diesel prime movers. The design, claimed to represent a significant advance in gas carrier technology, embodies the newly developed CSI membrane cargo containment system and an advanced reliquefaction plant to recover evaporated cargo.

Considerations of long-term operating economy, as well as maneuverability and redundancy, favored the nomination of a diesel propulsion plant, comprising a pair of two-stroke engines driving twin propellers. The main engines will be housed in separate machinery rooms.

Boil-off gas produced by the LNG cargo on passage would be put through a reliquefaction unit, to be compressed and re-injected into the cargo tanks. In this way, the ship's main machinery would be fed entirely on heavy fuel oil, rather than being partially fueled by

LNG boil-off, thereby resulting in the final delivery at the discharge terminal of more of the high-value cargo. The arrangements mean that the propulsion installation would burn the cheapest consumable available today, namely heavy fuel oil, and that delivered LNG shipment volumes would be higher. Full redundancy would also be built into the reliquefaction system, so as to better ensure overall operating dependability and availability.

The Sestao shipyard, which took the lead research and technical role in the current program of five LNG carriers, has undertaken research in relation to many of the facets of the envisioned 148,000-cu. m. type, including the preparation of model reliquefaction plants. Astillero Sestao has been involved in researching different tech- nologies for LNG vaporization and investigating the suitability of each for installation above-deck.

In an earlier exercise, MAN B&W cal- culated that an operating benefit equiva- lent to approximately $2-million to $3- million/yr. would be feasible using diesel engine propulsion technology and a state-of-the-art gas reliquefaction installation, compared with steam tur- bine propulsion, for a vessel similar in size to that contemplated by IZAR.

As a step up from membrane systems supplied to date, the new CSI arrange- ments written into the draft design for a 148,000-cu. m. tanker combines the best features of the proven Mklll and N096 systems developed by the legacy compa- nies vested in Gaz Transport &

Technigaz (GTT).

It offers increased strength, faster fab- rication and a claimed cost reduction of 15-percent relative to existing arrange- ments. In keeping with new trading pat- terns envisioned in the LNG transporta- tion business, partial loading conditions are possible, improving operational flex- ibility.

Through its ship repair division, IZAR has gained substantial experience in the repair and rehabilitation of LNG tankers, and the group's capabilities in this direction give it the scope to offer long-term support to the owners and operators of the vessels, which it is now building. All five LNG carriers will be engaged in the Spanish import trade.

The repair, refitting, upgrading and drydocking of large LNGCs constitutes an important business segment, in par- ticular, for IZAR Carenas Ferrol, the erstwhile Bazan establishment in north- west Spain.

The twinned facilities of Carenas

Ferrol and Carenas Fene, a repair arm of the former AESA Astano shipyard, are

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