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Natural Gas: A Viable Marine Fuel in the United States (EM680)

by Edward J. Eastlack United States Merchant Marine Academy, Kings Point, NY 2011 Submitted to the Department of Marine Engineering in Partial Fulfillment of the Requirements for the Degree of Masters of Science in Marine Engineering at the United States Merchant Marine Academy August 2011

Author Note: Correspondence considering this paper should be addressed to Edward James Eastlack, Marine Engineer,


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Natural Gas: A Viable Marine Fuel in the United States, a thesis prepared by Edward J. Eastlack in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the degree Master of Science in Marine Engineering, has been approved and accepted by:

September 29, 2011 Edward J. Eastlack Student/Author

Jose Femenia U.S. Merchant Marine Academy, MME Program Director




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ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS I would like to thank Professor Jose Femenia for his guidance and support during my courses of study, both undergraduate and graduate, at the United States Merchant Marine Academy in Kings Point, New York. His approach has been proactive and hands on, leading to global Page | 5  travel and my appointment by the American National Standards Institute (ANSI) to become a member of the International Standards Organization Technical Committee 67 Work Group 10 Project Team 1 for Marine LNG Bunkering Procedures and Equipment. This work group is expected to meet quarterly for the next three to five years to create this ISO document. It is an unprecedented opportunity to work with renowned people in the industry like Erik Skramstad, Vice President of LNG Segment at Det Norske Veritas and Andrew Brown, Business Development Director for the Lamnalco Group, Roger Roue, Technical Advisor at SIGTTO as well as others who are leading the efforts to bring LNG to the marine industry. Skramstad was asked by the ISO to take the lead in this work. Professor Femenia also supported my attendance at a European workshop and technology transfer for the promotion of U.S. Marine Highways in Fairfax, Virginia. This technology transfer was part of a Geospatial research study being conducted by George Mason University. My participation allowed me to discuss the vital role LNG will play in the U.S. marine sector with key members of our Department of Transportation, including keynote speaker Sean T. Connaughton, a 1983 graduate of the United States Merchant Marine Academy. Interestingly, Mr. Connaughton was also a past Maritime Administrator and is the current Secretary of Transportation for the Commonwealth of Virginia. He is currently offering tax incentives to businesses in Virginia to ship their goods on the Marine Highways, so, hopefully, he is setting a precedent that others will follow as Marine Highways have no maintenance costs. Waterborne shipment of goods is by far the most efficient. My talk with him indicated that Gas hybrid propulsion on the inland waterways and coastal trade routes could become a part of that equation. U.S. Maritime Administrator, David Matsuda, was also a keynote speaker at the European Workshop I attended and he is aware of the importance of reducing our dependence on foreign oil and of revitalizing our industrial base to support the Marine Highways. Mr. Matsuda was kind enough to accept my invitation to address the U.S. Merchant Marine Academy Alumni Chapter in New Orleans on September 14, 2011. I was able to meet him and found through the course of our conversation that he is supportive of my views. Pictures of this event can be viewed at our Alumni Chapter past events page I am most appreciative of the support and encouragement I have received from Professor Femenia as he has been a great inspiration to me throughout the course of my academic and professional career, starting with my undergraduate work at the United States Merchant Marine Academy in the mid 1990s.


VITA Edward James Eastlack: Born in Lewiston, Idaho December 6, 1972 1991 Graduated from Carlsbad High School Carlsbad, New Mexico Graduated from New Mexico Military Institute Roswell, New Mexico Graduated U.S. Merchant Marine Academy USMMA (Kings Point, NY) Marine Engineering Undergraduate Program Surface Warfare Officer School/Machinery Division Officer, United States Navy Shipboard Marine Engineer Marine Engineer’s Beneficial Association European Medium Speed Marine Diesel Service Engineer, Louisiana Machinery Company. Maintenance and Repair Engineer, Hornbeck Offshore Operators Completing coursework towards my MS in Marine Engineering from USMMA (Kings Point, NY)

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2009- Present


Professional and Honorary Societies U.S. Merchant Marine Academy Alumni Association Vice President Society of Naval Architects and Marine Engineers Member of the Marine LNG International Standards Organization Technical Committee 67 Work Group 10 Project Team 1

Field of Study Major Field: Marine Engineering Minor Field: Shipyard Management


ABSTRACT Reduced emission standards for the marine industry have caused liquefied natural gas or LNG to emerge as a viable marine fuel for ship propulsion systems. European countries like Norway already have over 20 natural gas powered vessels in service and more on order; however, the Page | 7  United States doesn’t have many LNG powered vessels yet, but it has recently made a commitment to build some LNG powered Offshore Supply Vessels in Orange,Texas for operation in the Gulf of Mexico. There has been an obvious paradigm shift towards using LNG fuel and LNG powered engines in the industrial sector and now it has moved to the marine sector. The driving forces are low emissions standards and economic factors. Since the EPA marine emissions regulations are the most stringent in the world, LNG has emerged as a viable marine fuel. Recent discoveries that U.S. natural gas reserves are as much as 50% greater than earlier estimates were thought, have spurred energy experts and policy makers to reduce dependence on foreign oil by lowering ‘greenhouse gas” emissions. The result is the U.S. Marine Industry has begun to move in the direction of LNG and LNG operated vessels. Advancements in marine power plant technology with nearly every marine prime mover now with dual fuel capability without loss of performance combined with the realization that the U.S. has a vast supply of readily available, cost effective, clean burning LNG make for a compelling case for the transition of LNG as a viable marine fuel in the USA. Other issues such as needed missing bunkering infrastructure in the U.S still need to be solved; however, a recent agreement between Wärtsilä and Shell to support LNG powered engines may be the beginning that leads to solving such issues. There have also been some developments on the regulatory side with the recent formation of the International Standards Organization TC67 Committee, Work Group 10 (of approximately 30 people) has started the work of standardizing LNG bunkering procedures and equipment for the worldwide oil and gas industries. The committee is developing a document called, Guidelines for Systems and Installations for Supply of LNG as Fuel to Ships. This guideline will provide guidance on how to:
• • • • •

Meet safety requirements specified by authorities (National and Port). Reference to Guidelines for Risk Assessment. Establish operational and control procedures to ensure safe, practical and aligned operations in different ports. Identify requirements to components (Storage tanks, piping, hoses, loading arms, connectors etc) to ensure equipment compliance Other factors as agreed by the work-group such as: o Requirements for maintenance o Training and qualification schemes o Emergency preparedness (DNV, 2011)


Table #1. Dual Fuel Engines Currently Available Table #2. Diesel and turbine engine plant comparisons Table #3. EPA versus IMO emissions. Table #4. Worldwide IMO emissions. Table #5. Typical composition of natural gas. Table #6. Advantages of switching to LNG 23 35 43 43 45 48

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Figure #1. Diagram shows locations of shale fields where new drilling techniques can extract the natural gas from the shale. Figure #2. Shows an overview of the current import/export terminals. Figure #3. Diagram showing a mini liquefaction plant. Figure #4. Diagram showing Brayton nitrogen refrigeration cycle for LNG. Figure #5. Visual of intermodal containers Figures #6 & 7.Visuals of systems and installations for supply of LNG as fuel to ships Figure # 8. Diagram of the Bergen lean-burn combustion system Figure #9.Visual Dual-Fuel Wärtsilä engines. Figure #10. Twin fuel injection valve for pilot and main. Figure #11. Shows a dual fuel medium speed marine diesel engine. Figure #12. Shows a dual fuel slow speed marine diesel engine. Figure #13. Shows a diagram of a dual fuel slow speed engine. Figure #14. Diagram shows method of gas injection with a dual fuel slow speed engine. Figure # 15. Shows ME-GI dual fuel slow speed engine fuel control system. Figure # 16. Shows MT30 dual fuel marine gas turbine. Figure #17. Shows MT30 dual fuel marine gas turbine. Figure #18. A high speed passenger ferry powered by a gas turbine. Figure # 19. Shows future American Feeder Lines Short Sea/Feedering container liner service planned in the U.S. Figure #20. Shows America’s marine highway corridors. Figure #21. Shows the basic functions of the LNG fuel gas system: storage, bunkering, and gas supply. Figure #22. Shows coastline areas where beginning in 2012 ULSD will be mandated. Figure #23. Shows a drawing of a gas hybrid propulsion configuration.

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INTRODUCTION Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) is no stranger to the marine industry; it has normally been a cargo on LNG tankers where they used the boil off from the tanks to generate power for
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shipboard use. Now that there is an international initiative for reduced emissions, natural gas has emerged as a fuel for ship propulsion systems. European countries like Norway have over 20 natural gas powered vessels in service with another 10 on order. Other than with a few proof-of-concept projects, natural gas powered vessels are not seen in the United States or other parts of the world (Garcia, 2011).

The absence of LNG powered vessels in the United States is about to change due to a recent agreement between Wärtsilä and Shell and a New Orleans company’s plan to build LNG powered vessels. Wärtsilä and Shell signed a co-operative agreement to promote and accelerate the use of LNG as a marine fuel. As part of the agreement, “supplies of low cost, low emissions LNG fuel will be made available to Wärtsilä natural gas powered vessel operators, and other customers by Shell. The Joint Cooperation Agreement will focus first on supplies from the US Gulf Coast, and then later expand their efforts to cover a broader geographical range” (Wärtsilä, 2011). Additionally, a New Orleans company’s plan to build the first U.S.-flag LNG-powered vessels has become official. Harvey Gulf International Marine has confirmed that it recently approved a $165 million deal to build three LNG-powered OSVs. The 300’ vessels are expected to be built at Signal International’s yard in Orange, Texas (Dupont, 2011). Both of these decisions were released to the press in September of 2011.


The Marine sector has traditionally followed suit with the industrial sector and globally we are seeing more natural gas fired power plants. We are also seeing an increasing number of gas powered industrial trucks and engines globally. They may be the forerunners to international
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shipping fleets switching from liquid fuels to LNG (Blikom, 2011). Low emissions and possible reduced fuel costs are the driving forces behind this move. The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) marine emissions regulations are the most stringent in the world and with the growing coastwise shipping, cruise and ferry industries, there is some concern that the refineries will not be able to meet the reduced sulfur and fuel quality requirements induced by the 2016 International Marine Organization (IMO) and EPA emissions regulations. The EPA has also adopted Emissions Control Areas that will mandate the use of Ultra Low Sulfur Diesel which is 15 ppm sulfur in January 2012. These Emission control areas will be 200 nautical miles off any U.S. Coastline and inland. Liquified Natural Gas or LNG is natural gas that has been super cooled to minus 260 degrees Fahrenheit. At that temperature natural gas condenses into a liquid at essentially atmospheric pressure. When in liquid form, natural gas takes up to 600 times less space than in its gaseous state, which makes it feasible to transport over long distances.

In the form of LNG, natural gas can be shipped from the parts of the world from where it is abundant to where it is in demand. LNG is an energy source that has much lower air emissions than other fossil fuels such as oil or coal. LNG is odorless, colorless, non-corrosive and nontoxic. Its weight is less than one-half that of water. LNG has been used in the United States since World War II and has been proven to be reliable and safe. There are many gas reserves in Southeast Asia, the Pacific region, the former Soviet Union, Africa, South America, the


Caribbean, and the Middle East. As a result of new shale fracturing technologies, significant new gas reserves have been discovered in the United States. Natural gas is the world’s cleanest burning fossil fuel and it has emerged as the environmentally preferred fuel of choice.
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Due to the molecular structure of its principal constituent, methane (CH4), natural gas has the highest hydrogen content of the available fossil fuels and thus produces the least amount of CO2 of any fuel when used in a heat engine (Carranza, 2011). Natural gas is plentiful, easy to produce and reasonably priced in many parts of the world. LNG is currently available in the United States as a transportation fuel for trucks and buses, but the infrastructure for bunkering ships coming in and out of port is not available. However, the recent agreement between Wärtsilä and Shell to promote and accelerate the use of LNG as a marine fuel is indicative that new bunkering infrastructure to support LNG is on the horizon as well (Wärtsilä, 2011). The availability of LNG as a bunkering fuel should have high priority as a means of having the marine industry meet the high emissions bar set by the EPA. LNG as a source of fuel gives ship operators a valuable alternative to meeting the emissions challenges in the emissions control areas surrounding North America (Carranza, 2011). AVAILABILITY – SUPPLY CHAIN AND COST OF NATURAL GAS U.S. natural gas reserves are as much as 50% greater than earlier estimates because of higher than expected production from 22 shale formations in 20 states. The U.S. has enough natural gas resources to last up to 118 years or 2247 trillion cubic feet. Currently the US uses 16.4 trillion cubic feet per year; however, its use is not widespread yet. This increase stems from new drilling techniques that have allowed companies to extract gas deeply embedded in formations on shale rock (Davidson, 2008).


Huge shale gas fields have been found in Texas, Louisiana, Arkansas and Pennsylvania. These discoveries have spurred energy experts and policy makers to start looking to natural gas in their pursuit of a wide range of goals: easing the impact of energy price spikes, reducing
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dependence on foreign oil, lowering “greenhouse gas” emissions and speeding the transition to renewable fuels (Casselman, 2011).

The US has significant natural gas production capability with over 6,300 producers of natural gas in the United States. These companies range from large integrated producers with worldwide operations and interests in all segments of the oil and gas industry to small one or two person operations that may only have partial interest in a single well (EIA, 2011).

Figure #1. Diagram shows locations of shale fields where new drilling techniques can extract the natural gas from the shale. Retrieved from “US gas fields go from bust to boom,” by B. Casselman, Wall Street Journal online, April 2009.


The US has significant natural gas production capability with over 6,300 producers of natural gas in the United States. These companies range from large integrated producers with worldwide operations and interests in all segments of the oil and gas industry to small one or
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two person operations that may only have partial interest in a single well (EIA, 2011). The U.S. also has significant production capability with over 530 natural gas processing plants in the United States which are responsible for processing 15 trillion cubic feet of natural gas and extracting over 630 million barrels of natural gas liquids, which is natural gas in a cryogenic state. The US has the transportation capability with 160 pipeline companies operating over 300,000 miles of transmission pipe. This pipeline capacity is capable of transporting over 148 billion cubic feet of gas per day from producing regions to consuming regions (EIA, 2011).

The US has the storage capacity with over 123 natural gas storage operators in the United States which control approximately 400 underground storage facilities. These facilities have a storage capacity of 4059 Bcf of natural gas, and an average daily deliverability of 85 Bcf per day. There are over 260 companies involved in the marketing of natural gas and 80 percent of all gas supplied and consumed in the US passes through the hands of natural gas marketers. There are about 1200 natural gas distribution companies in the US with ownership of over 1.2 million miles of distribution pipe. Traditionally, these distribution companies maintained monopolies on their regions, but there has been a recent distribution restructuring process to free enterprise (EIA, 2011).

Recent changes in environmental regulations favor the use of natural gas as feedstock for electricity over its closest substitutes – oil and coal. The historical relationship between the


price of natural gas and oil which has averaged 10:1 mm Btu/$ over the past two decades has now moved to approximately 20:1 mm Btu/$ (Powers, 2011). What this means is the price gap between oil/coal and gas is widening and putting natural gas as the preferred feedstock for
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cost, environmental and availability reasons (EIA, 2011).


Natural gas in North America is plentiful and the infrastructure exists for production, processing, transport, storage and distribution but this infrastructure exists for the Industrial sector, not the transportation (marine) sector. Below is a map showing current import/export LNG terminals in North America (FERC, 2011). These terminals could be expanded to also provide LNG/CNG bunkering facilities in support of the North American Marine Highway system.

Figure #2. Shows an overview of the current import/export terminals. Retrieved from “Current import/export LNG terminals in North America” by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC), 2001.


Torben Skaanild, secretary general of the shipping association, The Baltic and International Maritime Council (BIMCO), when speaking at the Petrospot Seminar in Singapore recently, said he does not believe we will see an immediate drastic shift to LNG. He indicated that with
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our current fleet, a significant shift would not take place before 2025. Other speakers added that the drivers for shifting to LNG were environmental and expensive (PST, 2011). Both European and EPA emissions regulations have moved to zero tolerance for sulfur, which gives a significant boost to LNG. However, there will be challenges due to the increased space required for onboard storage and additional insulation. There is also the question of which will come first, the vessels or the infrastructure. This is where either the government will have to step in or a ship operator with a LNG fueling marketing division will have to enter the market as an operator of LNG fuel ships and a provider of LNG fuel. If the Government is the catalyst for LNG bunkering, it must provide the right incentives for ship owners to build LNG powered vessels and Port Authorities to install the needed LNG bunkering infrastructure. There is an industry belief that LNG will become a part of many ports. There is an abundance of LNG with Exxon Mobil and Shell; both are beginning to produce more natural gas than oil even though at present there are only a handful of facilities (PST, 2011). There is also evidence that LNG Feeder vessels could stimulate LNG bunkering infrastructure such as the “Norgas Innovation” dedicated to the mini-LNG business in Scandinavia. The vessel was built for Norwegian ship owner I.M. Skaugen Group and it is only 10,609 dwt and can carry LNG, LPG and ethylene. It measures 137.10 meters overall in length and 19.80 meters in width. This type of LNG Feeder vessel could be used to transport LNG directly to end-users as well as to hub terminals for onward distribution. End user markets potentially


being maritime fuel markets where LNG may replace “bunker oils” (MM, 2011). So a small scale LNG Tanker such as the Norgas Innovation or LNG powered tugs pushing LNG tank barges would definitely support other vessels needing LNG for fuel.
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Ports such as Risavika harbor in Norway are leading the way in LNG bunkering infrastructure. Risavika harbor happens to be some 400 meters from the Skangass liquefaction plant which makes for a convenient bunkering arrangement via two LNG tank trucks. The managing director at Nordic LNG, Peter Blomberg, intends to make Risavika harbor a leading LNG bunker port in Scandinavia (LWN, 2010). This is a good example of a well organized LNG company working closely with a port authority. Similar relationships need to develop in the USA. BUNKERING EQUIPMENT NEEDED TO FACILITATE LNG BUNKERING IN MAJOR US PORTS LNG Bunkering in US Ports will require a LNG liquefaction plant or bulk storage facility to be in close proximity to port. Hamworthy currently offers a Mini LNG liquefaction plant that comes in standard 40’ ISO container. It is a modular system that allows for pre-treatment and precooling of the gas to occur in separate containers. It is also a completely portable system that can be easily disassembled and moved to another location. The plant will be powered by a gas engine and the gas will be cooled by a closed loop mixed refrigeration system to -260F. Capacity is in the range of 2000 to 6000 tons per year, so this would not be enough to refuel large vessels, but would be ample to support LNG powered tug and ferry systems (HGS, 2001). Small scale liquefaction plants like this one will also assist with the development of local gas distribution networks.


Larger ports with many vessels arriving for LNG fuel or LNG feeder tankers to refill their tanks will most likely need to have a liquefaction plant or bulk storage facility nearby with a production capacity between 20,000 and 500,000 tons per year. Hamworthy designed plants
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this size to use the Brayton nitrogen refrigeration cycle (HGS, 2001). In this cycle nitrogen is the sole refrigeration medium. Small scale LNG distribution would also be assisted by tug and LNG barge as well as small LNG bunker vessels.

Figure #3. Diagram showing a mini liquefaction plant. Retrieved from “Small Scale Mini LNG Systems,” by Hamworthy Gas Systems, April 2001.

According to Andrew Brown, Business Development Director for the Lamnalco Group and member of the IMO Technical Committee 67 Work Group 10, “the handling of LNG and understanding of thermal dynamics, as well as spillage management, are crucial areas that


need to be addressed by engine manufacturers.” He also points out the need for engine manufacturers to address health and safety focused design (MarineLink, 2011).

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Figure #4. Diagram showing Brayton nitrogen refrigeration cycle for LNG. Retrieved from “LNG fuel gas systems,” by Hamworthy Marine, April 2011.

To facilitate shipment from liquefaction plant to end user there are also ISO Standard 40 foot containers for transport of cryogenic liquids. Each container has an LNG capacity of 19 – 22.5.

Figure #5. Visual of intermodal containers. Retrieved from “Intermodal containers,” Chart Ferox, 2005.


As a result of all the Shale gas discoveries in May 2011, the U.S. Energy Department announced plans to export LNG from Louisiana. This is a very historic announcement because it marks the first time LNG has been exported from the lower 48 states and exports in the
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range 800 billion cubic feet per annum are expected to begin in 2015. A liquefaction plant will be retrofitted to Sabine Pass LNG terminal which is already receiving imports (NPB, 2011). This is expected to create thousands of jobs for residents of Louisiana and Texas as well as capitalize on higher natural gas prices in other parts of the world. However, when the quantity of foreign oil that is imported into the US each year is taken into account, we should be looking at our natural gas reserves as a clean energy resource that should be embraced as a matter of national, economic and environmental security. The recently formed International Standards Organization TC67 Committee, Work Group 10 met (approximately 30 people) for the first time on July 16-18, 2011 in Paris, France and began the work of standardization of LNG bunkering procedures and equipment for the worldwide oil and gas industries. The document we are developing is called, Guidelines for Systems and Installations for Supply of LNG as Fuel to Ships. This guideline will provide information to: • • • • •
o o o

Meet safety requirements specified by authorities (National and Port). Reference to Guidelines for Risk Assessment. Establish operational and control procedures to ensure safe, practical and aligned operations in different ports. Identify requirements to components (Storage tanks, piping, hoses, loading arms, connectors etc) to ensure equipment compliance Other factors as agreed by the work-group such as: Requirements for maintenance Training and qualification schemes Emergency preparedness (DNV, 2011)


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Figures # 6 & #7.Visuals of systems and installations for supply of LNG as fuel to ships. Retrieved from ”LNG fuel gas systems – clean ship propulsion,” TGE Marine,2011.

The focus will be to standardize the interface between ship/shore and ship/bunkering vessel. This way a vessel can refuel in any port worldwide (1000 cubic meters per hour LNG transfer rate) and equipment/procedures are standardized. Det Norske Veritas has taken the lead in this work (DNV, 2011).

INTERNAL COMBUSTION ENGINES Available internal combustion engines operate on either of two thermodynamic cycles, the Diesel Cycle and the Otto Cycle and either of two mechanical cycles, the two-stroke cycle and the four-stroke cycle. Internal combustion engines operating on the Diesel Cycle are called spark ignition (SI) engines and those operating on the Otto Cycle are called compression ignition engines. Spark ignition engines require a fuel that easily vaporizes and explodes when ignited such as gasoline or gaseous fuels; whereas, the compression ignition engines require a fuel that has a low auto ignition temperature that can be ignited by the heat of compression. Compression ignition engines need fuels with higher carbon content than gasoline or gaseous fuels. They need fuels such as gas-oil (similar to light diesel oil) or heavier oils such as heavy fuel oil (HFO). Two-stroke engines require one revolution of the crankshaft to complete the


cycle while four-stroke engines require two revolutions of the crankshaft to complete the cycle. In general two-stroke engines develop more power for a given engine weight. Table #1 shows a partial list of common marine internal combustion engines.
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In theory the Otto Cycle has a higher efficiency than the Diesel Cycle, but since real Diesel Cycle engines require a high compression ratio for ignition to occur, and Otto Cycle engines cannot use very high compression ratios due to the possibility of pre-combustion, real diesel engines are usually more efficient than spark ignition engines. Dual fuel engines are engines that can use either a low auto ignition liquid fuel or a gaseous fuel or a mixture of the two. When in the all gas mode, the ignition of the gas is initiated by injecting a small amount of pilot oil (diesel oil) which ignites due to the heat of combustion. In this mode the engine is essentially operating as an Otto Cycle engine. Marine internal combustion engines are often classified as medium-speed or slow-speed engines. For ocean service, medium speed engines normally refer to four-stroke engines operating at approximately 400 – 600 rpm and driving the propeller via a reduction gear or an electric motor. For inland service, the term medium speed engines normally refers to engines operating between 800 and 1,000 rpm and slow speed often refers to engines that operate in the 400 – 700 rpm range. For ocean service, slow speed engines are engines typically operating between 75 – 150 rpm and directly coupled to the propeller.


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Table #1. Shows a list of Dual Fuel Engines currently available. Retrieved from ”LNG fuel gas systems – clean ship propulsion,” TGE Marine,2011.

MEDIUM SPEED (OTTO CYCLE) LEAN BURN NATURAL GAS SPARK IGNITION A good example of a lean burn Otto cycle spark ignition marine gas engine currently available is the Bergen B35:40. The demand for this type of engine has increased to meet the demanding emission levels in coastwise shipping.

Method of gas injection: Lean burn natural gas SI engines use premixed gas which is introduced into the engine through the inlet valve. The gas mixture is ignited by a spark plug. The lean burn natural gas engine operates with high excess air ratio. This means that the combustion is cool, creating small amounts of NOx and maintaining a high efficiency,


especially at high loads. A typical lean burn natural gas engine has a lower efficiency at low and medium load compared to an equivalent diesel engine and higher efficiency loads (NMTRI, 2010).
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Figure #8. Diagram of the Bergen lean-bum combustion system. Retrieved from “Bergen B35:40 gas engine,” by Rolls Royce Power Engineering June, 2009.

An interesting point to make regarding these gas engines is the maintenance intervals. The inframe overhaul interval is extended because of the cleaner burning properties of natural gas. Additionally, fewer contaminants are introduced into the lube oil which increases component service life (RRPE, 2009). DUAL FUEL MEDIUM SPEED MARINE DIESEL ENGINES A very popular dual fuel medium speed marine diesel currently on the market is the Wärtsilä DF. The DF is a four stroke, non-reversible, turbocharged and intercooled dual fuel engine with


direct injection of liquid fuel and indirect injection of gas fuel. The engine can be operated in gas mode or in diesel mode.

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Figure #9.Visual Dual-Fuel Wärtsilä engines. Retrieved from “Wartsila 50DF” by Wärtsilä Ship Power Technology June, 2010.

Method of Gas Injection: The gas is mixed with air before the inlet valve but instead of a spark plug a diesel pilot flame is used to ignite the lean gas mixture which results in a low emission of NOx and other emission components. The emissions are a little higher than for the lean burn Otto cycle engines due to the diesel pilot flame. At lower loads the proportion of energy delivered by the diesel flame increases. This means the relative emission of NOx and other emissions components originating from the diesel flame increases with the decreased load. The sources for unburned methane are the same in dual fuel engines as in lean burn engines. At low loads a dual fuel engine will switch over to only running on diesel. Depending on when this shift occurs, many of the problems with the high methane emission at low loads


can be avoided in a dual fuel engine. The penalties for switching to diesel are higher emissions of NOx and other pollutants originating from the diesel combustion (NMTRI, 2010).

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Figure #10. Twin fuel injection valve for pilot and main. Retrieved from “Wartsila 50DF,” by Wärtsilä Ship Power Technology June, 2010.

The pilot diesel injection, part of the twin fuel oil injection valve, has a needle actuated by a solenoid which is controlled by the engine control system. The pilot diesel fuel is admitted through a high pressure connection screwed in the nozzle holder. When the engine runs in diesel mode, the pilot fuel injection is also in operation to keep the needle clean (WSPT, 2010).

The Wärtsilä 50DF in diesel electric marine application is especially popular for newly built LNG carriers from South Korea; Wärtsilä has partnered with Samsung Heavy Industries to have this engine built under license. The electric power is supplied by an electric propulsion system similar to the systems used on modern cruise ships (WSPT, 2010). This arrangement allows for lower fuel consumption, fuel flexibility and reduced emissions.


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Figure #11. Shows a dual fuel medium speed marine diesel engine. Retrieved from “Wartsila 50DF,” by Wärtsilä Ship PowerTechnology, 2010.


Figure #12. Shows a dual fuel slow speed marine diesel engine. Retrieved from “MAN B&W ME-GI Engine Selection Guide,” by MAN Diesel and Turbo, 2010.

MAN B&W has designed a slow-speed ME-GI engine for the highly specialized LNG carrier market; however, there may be additional applications such as coastwise shipping if the


refueling infrastructure exists. The design builds on experience gained from the earlier MC-GI engines combined with the developments in the latest electronically controlled ME engines. The MAN B&W Dual Fuel Slow Speed ME-GI Engine uses a high pressure reciprocating
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compressor supplying the engine with the main gas injection while ignition is ensured by diesel fuel injection (2010).

Figure #13. Shows a diagram of a dual fuel slow speed engine. Retrieved from “MAN B&W ME-GI Engine Selection Guide,” by MAN Diesel and Turbo, 2010.

The ME engine consists of a hydraulic-mechanical system for activation of the fuel injection and exhaust valves. The actuators are electronically controlled by an integrated engine control system.

MAN has specifically developed both the hardware and the software in order to obtain an integrated solution for the Engine Control System. The fuel pressure booster is a simple plunger powered by a hydraulic piston activated by oil pressure. The oil pressure is controlled


by an electronically controlled proportional valve. The exhaust valve is opened hydraulically by means of a two stage exhaust valve actuator activated by the control oil from an electronically controlled proportional valve. The exhaust valves are closed by the ‘air spring’. In the hydraulic
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system, the normal lube oil is used as the medium. It is filtered and pressurized by a Hydraulic Power Supply unit mounted on the engine or placed in the engine room (2010).

Method of gas injection: The new modified parts of the ME-GI are comprised of a gas supply pipe, a large volume accumulator on the slightly modified cylinder head with gas injection valves and hydraulic combustion units (HCU) with electronic gas injection (ELGI) valves for control of the injected gas amounts. There are also small modifications to the exhaust gas receiver and the control and maneuvering system. The engine auxiliaries consist of some new equipment such as the high pressure gas compressor supply system, including a cooler to raise the pressure to 250-300 bar, which is the pressure required at the engine inlet.


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Figure #14. Diagram shows method of gas injection with a dual fuel slow speed engine. Retrieved from “MAN B&W ME-GI Engine Selection Guide,” by MAN Diesel and Turbo, 2010.

The ME-GI fuel injection system has a normal fuel oil pressure booster which supplies pilot oil in the dual fuel operation mode, and is connected to the ELGI valve. The control system allows its engine to be operated in the various relevant modes: normal ‘dual fuel mode’ with minimum pilot oil amount, ‘specified gas mode’ with injection of a fixed gas amount, and the ‘fuel only mode’ (MAN, 2010). The liquid fuel system is arranged so that both diesel oil and heavy fuel oil can be used.


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Figure #15. Shows ME-GI dual fuel slow speed engine fuel control system. Retrieved from “MAN B&W ME-GI Engine Selection Guide,” by MAN Diesel and Turbo, 2010.

DUAL FUEL MARINE GAS TURBINES Modern marine gas turbines are compact, efficient prime movers that function well in the marine environment as long as they are supplied with good quality fuel. The element often carried with low grade fuels that is of particular concern to gas turbine designers and operators is the metal vanadium due to the high temperature corrosion issues it presents. Vaporized LNG does not contain any vanadium and, thus, it is a very good fuel for gas turbines. A particular advantage of using gas turbines as the prime-mover for commercial vessels, especially when used as in gas turbine-electric power configuration, is the power plant can be configured in a manner that will allow for increased vessel cargo space. For some vessels and trades, the increased cargo space often mitigates the lower efficiency of the gas turbine as compared to diesel engines. Figure 16 shows the relative efficiency of various marine primemovers.


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Figure #16. Diagram shows efficiencies and capacities of the various diesel and turbine engines discussed. Retrieved from “MAN B&W ME-GI Engine Selection Guide,” by MAN Diesel and Turbo, 2010.

The Rolls Royce MT30 dual fuel marine gas turbine raised the bar for marine gas turbine power to weight ratio when it came to the market in 2004. The American Bureau of Shipping and Det Norske Veritas have certified it to deliver 36MW with ambient air temperatures up to 38C and 40MW at 15C and it can be used in mechanical or electrical shipboard applications.


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Figure #17. Shows MT30 dual fuel marine gas turbine. Retrieved from “The MT30 Marine Gas Tubine,” by Rolls Royce Power Engineering June, 2009.

LNG Vessels with the MT30 will have dual fuel capability primarily burning boil-off gas lost from the vessel’s main cargo storage tanks but also capable of burning Distillate Marine A (DMA) standard fuel when gas is not available. Rolls Royce is promoting the MT30 to a number of shipbuilders involved in the transportation of LNG in hopes that the gas turbine will be used to power the next generation of very large LNG carriers up to 250,000 cubic meters. The installation of a gas turbine on deck just aft of the accommodation block will give the gas carrier an extra 10 to 15% carrying capacity. The gas turbine has an 80% commonality with the Trent 800 aero engine which has won a market leading 44% of the Boeing 777 program, achieving more than five million flying hours since entering service in 1996. The MT30 gas turbine weighs 6,346 kg and a total module weight is 27,780 kg (RRPE, 2009). Another marine application for a dual fuel gas turbine would be on a high speed passenger ferry where the power to weight ratio of a gas turbine is advantageous. As well, the operating pattern of the vessel allows for frequent LNG refueling.


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Figure #18. A high speed passenger ferry powered by a gas turbine. Retrieved from “Fast ferry is first to use dual fuel gas turbines,” by Passenger Ship technology, 2011.

Australia’s Incat Shipyard will be the first to build a fast ferry using gas turbines fuelled by liquefied natural gas (LNG). The vessel is a catamaran design 99 meters in length and will carry 1000 passengers and 153 cars at over 50 knots. The engines will use distillate when first ignited and then will switch to LNG once the exhaust temperatures are high enough to be used to re-gasify the LNG. GE has modified the LM2500’s fuel delivery system to accommodate LNG (PST, 2011).

Strictly from an efficiency standpoint the best prime mover would be the slow speed diesel; however, not all vessels have the space requirements to accommodate these physically large engines. Some ships must use propulsion systems with better volume-to-weight and power-toweight ratios. Gas turbines are popular on ferry boats as they provide a large amount of power and require very little space onboard. However, efficiency is sacrificed. Medium speed diesels are somewhere in the middle and are found on a variety of vessels and marine applications.


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Table #2. Shows diesel and turbine engine plant comparisons. Retrieved from “EM621 Advanced Marine Power Systems,” by Professor Alan Rowan, USMMA, 2011.

POTENTIAL MARINE SYSTEMS USING LNG FUEL There is currently a lot of discussion in the U.S. maritime community about the importance of a strong Jones Act Fleet utilizing our coastal marine highways. The rebuilding of the Jones Act Fleet would involve building 300-500 ships over the next 25 years (MTD, 2011).

As Jones Act vessels, they must be built in domestic shipyards and essentially use material and equipment originating in the U.S. The economic impact of rebuilding the Jones Act fleet would revitalize many sectors of American industry to include engineering design, mining of ore, steel-making, shipbuilding and outfitting, thus contributing to the revitalization of our industrial base.

These vessels would also be designed to run on natural gas, so once in operation these vessels (coastal ships, tugboats, towboats, ferries, etc.) would become major consumers of natural gas, reducing our dependence on imported oil, reducing our carbon footprint and reducing highway congestion.


Tony Munoz, the Editor-in-Chief of the Maritime Executive Magazine and the MarEx Newsletter believes that by boosting the US Maritime infrastructure, we as a nation could begin to solve many of our economic problems. There is definitely gigantic potential in a
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maritime solution if we can pull together and get it going. Munoz says in a recent article, “OpEd: Rebuilding America and Creating Jobs—A Jones Act Initiative: The U.S. maritime infrastructure is already in place and could immediately produce millions of new jobs in shipbuilding, ship and port operations by training new mariners and relicensing former mariners attracted by new job opportunities. America’s maritime resources are second to none. The U.S. has about 86,000 miles of coastline and 25,000 miles of inland waterways. The federal government could begin a maritime renaissance by releasing the entire $6.5 billion (by year’s end) in the Harbor Maintenance Tax Trust Fund because it’s a trust fund meant to dredge ports and inland waterways and to rehabilitate locks along the riverways (2011). Recent correspondence with T. Boone Pickens in June 2011 clarified his position on natural gas (Appendix A and B). Pickens is behind the effort to expand the nation’s use of natural gas, but his main focus is on using it with the 8 million trucks on our highways; however, he sees its potential as a viable marine fuel as well and he promised to pass a letter I wrote him along to Clean Energy Fuel’s team. Pickens wants everyone to become aware that we are relying too heavily on OPEC. He wants all Americans to know that in 1970 we imported 24% of our oil. Today it is close to 70% and growing. As a country we are essentially exporting our wealth at a rate $700 billion per year or $1.9 billion per day. That is money taken out of our economy and sent to foreign nations. We are putting our national security in the hands of potentially unfriendly and unstable foreign nations. Every day 85 million barrels are produced worldwide


and America uses 21 million barrels. This equates to 25% of the world’s oil demand used by just 4% of the world’s population (Pickens, 2011).

A company by the name of American Feeder Lines (AFL) recently placed a coastwise container/feeder vessel into service between Halifax, Portland, Maine and Boston. Unfortunately, this vessel is not powered by LNG due to current lack of infrastructure. However, AFL’s CEO, Tobias Koenig, has expressed a desire to power his vessels with LNG. Any newbuild vessel his company builds will come equipped with dual fuel diesel engines that can burn either distillate fuel or natural gas. The company plans to build, own and operate the first Jones Act Short Sea/Feedering container liner service in the United States (AFL, 2011) and they have posted a schedule/routes for vessels they plan to place into service in the future. By comparing the LNG import/export terminal map (Figure #2) and the American Feeder Lines schedule/routes, shown below in Figure #19, it is obvious there is a very good case to promote bunkering infrastructure in these LNG terminals in support of the Marine Highway System. Building a Jones Act fleet powered by LNG will not only help us environmentally by reducing our dependence on oil, it will also help our nation to solve its economic problems, producing millions of new jobs in shipbuilding and related operations. Not only is it a solution to the maritime industry, it is a solution that will help our country to revive its declining economy and the world in general. The sooner we are able to embrace it, the better for everyone.

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Figure #19. Shows future American Feeder Lines Short Sea/Feedering container liner service planned in the U.S. Retrieved from “America’s marine highway report to congress,” by Department of Transportation, 2011.

America’s Marine Highways can bring significant freight congestion relief along certain corridors. A study for the United States Department of Transportation (USDOT) estimated that there were a total of approximately 78.2 million trailer loads of highway and rail intermodal cargo that moved between origins and destinations 500 miles apart along the U.S. contiguous coasts in 2003 (DOT, 2011).


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Figure #20. Shows America’s marine highway corridors. Retrieved from “America’s marine highway program,” Maritime Administration (MARAD), 2011.

ONBOARD GAS STORAGE, PREPARATION AND HANDLING EQUIPMENT Basic functions of the shipboard LNG fuel gas system include bunkering, storage, and supply of conditioned natural gas to the engine and related safety functions. One proposed LNG fuel gas system would normally be delivered as two complete skids depending on the original equipment manufacturer or OEM. The proposed LNG fuel tank skid is shown below and includes the necessary equipment for storage, evaporation, heating and gas pressure control. This skid is intended to supply natural gas at required pressure and temperature to the engine’s regulating valve.


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Figure #21. Shows the basic functions of the LNG fuel gas system: storage, bunkering, and gas supply. Retrieved from “Bunkering, infrastructure, storage and processing of LNG,” by Harperscheidt, TGE Marine, 2011.

The other required skid is the bunkering station skid. The bunkering station skid interfaces with both the shore filling system or bunker vessel and the onboard storage tanks. Interface points include pipe nozzle for LNG liquid, LNG vapor return and MDO, so that bunkering of LNG and distillate fuel can be carried out in parallel as shown in this video ( (TGE, 2011). The bunkering station piping assembly includes equipment for filling the LNG fuel tanks and also includes valves for tank pressure control and nitrogen purging functions (Harperscheidt, 2011).

The gas tight tank room contains equipment for evaporating LNG, heating of natural gas and pressure holding. The tank room will be shaped as a prismatic gas tight room attached to the LNG fuel tank, or may be contained in the conduit formed by the extension of the LNG fuel tank outer shell. The interface points with the ship systems are by nozzles located on the tank


room exterior. Interface points with ship systems include Glycol water mixture to/from jacket cooling water secondary circuit to heat and expand the LNG to gas. There is also an interface point between the gas tight tank room and the gas regulating units which regulate the amount
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of gas sent to the engine.

In respect to storage, one basic disadvantage of LNG is its low density. LNG takes roughly twice the volume of fuel oil for the same energy content. The current regulatory approach is based on self supporting tanks as defined in the International Maritime Organization and the International Gas code: Type A (designed as ship structures) and type B (prismatic or spherical tanks) are generally feasible for fuel gas but their requirements for pressure, maintenance and secondary barrier raise questions that have not been solved in a technically commercially sound way. Therefore, International Marine Organization Type C tanks (pressure vessels) turn out to be the preferred solution for current designs. The tanks are very safe and reliable high pressure ones, allowing for high loading rates and pressure increase due to boil off and are easy to fabricate and install (Harperscheidt, 2011). Type C tanks are also advantageous for LNG storage onboard because there are no restrictions on partial filling, no secondary barrier (BLG 14 on IGF guideline), and no maintenance and no leakage history. Also, when filling the tank, there is no need for vapor return (TGE, 2011). This type of fuel gas system can be adapted to fit all types of vessels to include roll on roll off, roll on roll off passenger, offshore, container and bulk carrier.

With the future use of Liquid Natural Gas as ship fuel, there will be the need for multiple onshore LNG bunkering stations along the coasts and also LNG Bunkering ships/barges in the busiest harbors. These bunkering options would include LNG, HFO and MDO possibly


simultaneously. The bunkering process in the future is expected to be controlled from the onshore bunkering station, bunkering ship or bunkering barge. Simultaneous LNG bunkering, cargo handling and passenger transfer is further expected to be common (Hamworthy, 2011).
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The International Standards Organization (ISO) is currently starting its ISO/TC 67/WG 10 PT1 with the purpose of developing guidelines for bunkering with title “Guidelines for Systems and Installations for Supply of LNG as Fuel to Ships.”

EPA EMISSIONS REQUIREMENTS FOR MARINE DIESELS AND NORTH AMERICAN ECAs The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the International Maritime Organization (IMO) emissions requirements are increasingly stringent. Marine Diesel engines are significant contributors to air pollution in many US cities, coastal areas and harbors. On January 1, 2004, the U.S. EPA mandated a staged reduction in particulate matter (PM) and oxides of nitrogen plus Total Hydrocarbons (NOx + THC). The EPA’s Tier 2 regulation which went into effect in 2007 represented a 27% reduction in NOx compared to existing standards and introduced a PM limit for the first time (EPA, 2011). Marine Diesels in the U.S. must also meet the International Maritime Organization’s (IMO) Tier 1 emission standard. While not ratified in the U.S. until 2008, the rule is retroactive to 2000. The IMO regulation is the method by which countries can apply emissions standards to domestic and foreign-flagged vessels. Over the next 5 years the EPA and IMO will implement new regulations that will drastically reduce emissions levels from marine diesel engines.


EPA Tier 3 – Represents a 50% reduction in PM and 20% reduction in NOx compared to existing Tier 2 standards; the Tier 3 regulation begins to take effect in the United States in January 2012.
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EPA Tier 4 – Will take effect in the United States in January 2014 for commercial engines with maximum power greater than 600 KW (804 hp). The EPA Tier 4 regulation represents a 90% reduction in PM and an 80% reduction in NOx compared to existing Tier 2 standards. In order to achieve these significant reductions, after-treatment devices will likely be utilized. To reduce SOx emissions, the EPA has mandated the use of Ultra-Low Sulfur Diesel (ULSD) fuel in the marine market. Beginning in 2012 in the emissions control areas, a sulfur content of less than 15 ppm compared to 500 ppm in today’s marine diesel fuel will be set (EPA. 2011). Ultra-low Sulfur Diesel is considered an integral requirement for most after-treatment technologies.

Table #3. Shows EPA versus IMO emissions. Retrieved from “Diesel boats and ships,” by Environmental Protection Agency, 2011. Table # 4. Shows worldwide International Marine Organization (IMO) emissions. Retrieved from “Diesel boats and ships,” by Environmental Protection Agency, 2011.

Also in an effort to reduce SOx emissions near U.S. Coastlines, the EPA has designated emissions control areas (ECAs) where the use of ULSD has been mandated starting in


January 2012. Ships will have the alternative to fit an exhaust gas cleaning device to achieve the SOx reductions. However, the EPA has also posed a ban on high sulfur bunker fuel to be sold in the US for use in the ECA which would make the use of a scrubber redundant as there
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would be no sulfur in the exhaust to remove (SS, 2009).

Figure #22. Shows coastline areas where beginning in 2012 ULSD will be mandated. Reprinted from “Diesel boats and ships,” by Environmental Protection Agency, 2011.

Natural gas as a marine fuel meets all current and future EPA and IMO emissions requirements without costly exhaust after treatment. What this means to the vessel owner is a simple and more cost effective solution for meeting emissions requirements.

GAS FUELED SHIPS AND GREENHOUSE GAS (GHG) EMISSIONS There are two main sources of unburned methane in a gas engine exhausting from the engine, the unburned methane is commonly referred to as methane slip. Although the engine efficiency is highest at high load, the main source for the unburned gas at high load is methane originating from the crevice volumes between the piston, cylinder head and cylinder liners. At


low load, the reduced flame envelope results in the release in higher amounts of unburned gases (Stenhede, 2010).

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Methane CH4 Ethane C2H6 Propane C3H8 Butane C4H10 Carbon Dioxide CO2 Oxygen O2 Nitrogen N2 Hydrogen sulphide H2S Rare gases A, He, Ne, Xe 70-90% 0-20% 0-8% 0-0.2% 0-5% 0-5% trace

Table #5. Shows typical composition of natural gas. Retrieved from “What is natural gas?” by Energy Tomorrow,, 2011.

LNG, which is made up of 70-90% methane, is often highlighted as the cleanest fossil fuel alternative when compared to diesel oil used for internal combustion engines. The cleanliness of LNG fuel is easy to appreciate when one notes it yields 100% reductions in SOx and Particulate Matter (PM) and 92% reduction in NOx as compared to diesel fuel. LNG also results in a 25% reduction in CO2, a major contributor to greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. The net greenhouse gas (GHG) reduction is reduced when methane slip is factored in. Most gas engines available today can be divided into two main categories: spark ignition lean burn and dual fuel. The different engines/propulsion arrangements have varying characteristics and levels of efficiency. The true reduction of GHG emissions in each case will depend on the efficiency of the engine. Spark ignited lean burn gas engines can offer a net GHG reduction in the 30% range. A dual fuel engine with, for example, a 1% methane slip may eliminate the gains from CO2 reductions. Methane slip, or incomplete combustion of methane (CH4) in the


cylinders, releases methane to the exhaust and in worst case scenario eliminates the gains from CO2 reductions. CH4 is more than 20 times more harmful than CO2 as a greenhouse gas, so it only takes a very small release to spoil the potential gains associated with using LNG
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(DNV, 2009). The tendency to release methane is usually highest when engines are operating at low loads. The engine manufacturers are aware of this challenge and research is being carried out to minimize the methane slip and the prospects look good. Achieving maximum reduction of greenhouse gases from gas fueled vessels will require careful selection of engines and arrangements that closely fit the application and modes of operation (i.e. full load or frequent part load). A gas/hybrid propulsion system would be a good solution, in some cases, as it would simply shut the gas burning engine off at low load. As an example, reference the drawing of a Wartsila Gas Hybrid Propulsion system for a tug boat below. The vessel is fitted with three 9 cylinder Wartsila 20DF engines. Two of the engines are driving the CS275 thrusters mechanically through the PT1 upper gearbox. The third engine in the middle is driving a generating set, the power of which can be transmitted to the CS275 thrusters via electric drive motors fitted to the same PT1 upper gearbox. There is also an option for battery backup (Pietila, 2011).


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Figure #23. Shows a drawing of a gas hybrid propulsion configuration. Retrieved from W TUG—full speed ahead! by M. Pietila, Twenty- Four7. Wärtsilä.com, 2011.

The European Union (EU) and the International Marine Organization (IMO) are aiming for very ambitious CO2 reductions in the future. Additionally, the IMO has created the first mandatory global GHG reduction regime for the international shipping industry. The rules will apply to all ships over 400 tons, requiring those built after 2013 to improve efficiency by 10%, rising to 20% for ships built between 2020 and 2024, and 30% for ships built after 2024 (EL, 2011). It is essential that methane slip is further reduced in order to achieve the full potential environmental benefits of LNG as a fuel. ECONOMIC AND ECOLOGICAL ADVANTAGES OF GAS AS FUEL The cost of a gas engine complete with gas fuel system is about twice as high as a diesel engine plus fuel tank. Also, the physical installation of the LNG fuel tank onboard a ship can be an issue – especially application on tugboats. Additional costs of SCR catalysts necessary for diesel engines in 2016 and later represent only 25% of the additional costs of the LNG fuel system plus storage.


The economic case for LNG comes from the lower LNG energy price compared to the marine diesel oil (MDO) or marine gas oil (MGO). Short Sea Shipping and Inland shipping seem to offer an attractive case with realistic LNG price discounts of $3 to $3.6/MMBTU below diesel fuel for a payback within 10 years and $6.3/MMBTU below diesel fuel for a payback within 5 years (RV, 2011). The bottom line then is: oil is getting scarce and natural gas prices are not expected to rise as rapidly as oil in the future, thus improving the economics of operating LNG fueled vessels. Switching to LNG offers significant advantages in air pollutant emissions and the widespread use of LNG can open the door for use of biofuels such as Liquified Bio Gas (LBG) which offers additional greenhouse gas reductions. Note: The operating costs noted above do not reflect the added costs of operating with low sulfur fuels. Note: The operating costs noted below do not reflect the added costs of operating with low sulfur fuels.
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Table # 6. Shows advantages of switching to LNG. Retrieved from “LNG as marine fuel by Wärtsilä, 2010.


CLASSIFICATION SOCIETY GUIDANCE FOR GAS FUELED SHIP CONSTRUCTION The American Bureau of Shipping (ABS) has recently released a guide for Propulsion and Auxiliary Systems for Gas Fueled Ships (GFS). Its objectives are to provide criteria for arrangements, construction installation and operation of machinery, equipment and systems for vessels operating with natural gas as fuel in order to minimize risks to the vessel, crew and environment. Detailed requirements are addressed in each section of the guide and are highlighted below: Gas fuel storage systems are to be designed in accordance with Chapter 4 of the IGC Code, as incorporated by Section 5C-8-4 of the Steel Vessel Rules, and as applicable, the ABS Guide for Vessel Intended to Carry Compressed Natural Gases in Bulk (CNG Guide). Gas fuel storage tank pressure, temperature and filling limits are to be maintained within the design limits of the storage tank at all times. A Means are to be provided to evacuate, purge and gas free the gas fuel storage tank.
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Gas fuel storage tanks are to be located in a protected location. Gas fuel storage spaces, bunkering stations, fuel gas preparation spaces and machinery spaces containing gas utilization equipment are to be located and arranged such that the consequences of any release of gas will be minimized while providing safe access for operation and inspection.

Gas fuel supply piping, systems and arrangements are to provide safe handling of gas fuel liquid and vapor under all operating conditions. Means are to be provided to inert


and gas free piping and systems. Gas fuel utilization equipment and machinery is to be designed and arranged for the safe consumption of natural gas as fuel.

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Automation, instrumentation, monitoring and control systems are to be provided to enable safe carriage, conditioning and utilization of natural gas. The vessel and systems are to be arranged with sufficient redundancy so as to provide continuity of electrical and propulsion power in the event of an automatic safety shut down of fuel gas supply.

Explosion protection and fire protection, detection and extinguishing arrangements and systems are to be provided to protect the vessel and crew from possible hazards associated with using natural gas as fuel (ABS, 2011).

SAFETY ASPECTS OF GAS AS FUEL There are four key components to a safety system for LNG. The first and most important safety requirement for the industry is to contain LNG. This is accomplished by employing a primary containment using suitable materials for storage tanks and other equipment, and by appropriate engineering design.

The secondary containment ensures that if leaks or spills occur, the LNG can be contained and isolated. Secondary containment systems are designed to exceed the volume of the storage tank.

The third layer of protection minimizes the release of LNG and mitigates the effects of a release. Systems such as gas and liquid fire detection are used for early detection in addition


to remote and automatic shut off systems to minimize leaks and spills in case of failures. The fourth layer of protection are operational procedures. Emergency response training and effective maintenance programs can also help to prevent hazards.
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Safety zones are established around large volume LNG ships, such as LNG tankers, while underway in U.S. waters and while moored. The safe distances or exclusion zones are based on LNG vapor dispersion data, thermal radiation contours and other considerations. If vessel centered LNG bunkering systems are to be employed, appropriate safety zone protocols need to be established recognizing the reduced amount of LNG and/or CNG carried by these relatively small vessels.

LNG also has unique handling characteristics. In order for an uncontrolled release to take place, there must be a structural failure. LNG tanks store the liquid at an extremely low temperature, about -256°F(-160°C), so no pressure is required to maintain its liquid state. Sophisticated containment systems prevent ignition sources from coming in contact with the liquid. Since LNG is stored at atmospheric pressure - i.e., not pressurized - a crack or puncture of the container will not create a massive release of LNG and an immediate explosion. Instead, it will result in the leakage of liquid gas which will vaporize at a rate dependent on the source of heat in the immediate vicinity of the spilled liquid.

As LNG leaves a temperature-controlled container, it begins to warm up, returning the liquid to a gas. Initially, the gas is colder and heavier than the surrounding air. It creates a vapor cloud above the released liquid. As the gas warms up, it mixes with the surrounding air and begins to


disperse. The vapor cloud will only ignite if it encounters an ignition source while concentrated within its flammability range. The flammability of methane is 5 to 15% and that auto ignition temperature is approximately 1,000 oF. Safety devices and operational procedures are
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intended to minimize the probability of a release and subsequent vapor cloud having an affect outside the facility boundary.

If LNG is released, direct human contact with the cryogenic liquid will freeze the point of contact. Containment systems surrounding an LNG storage tank, thus, are designed to contain up to 110 percent of the tank's contents while in the liquid state. Containment systems also separate the tank from other equipment. Moreover, all facility personnel must wear gloves, face masks and other protective clothing as a protection from the freezing liquid when entering potentially hazardous areas.

When LNG supplies of multiple densities are loaded into a tank one at a time, they do not mix at first. Instead, they layer themselves in unstable strata within the tank. After a period of time, these strata may spontaneously rollover to stabilize the liquid in the tank. As the lower LNG layer is heated by normal heat leak, it changes density until it finally becomes lighter than the upper layer. At that point, a liquid rollover would occur with a sudden vaporization of LNG that may be too large to be released through the normal tank pressure release valves. At some point, the excess pressure can result in cracks or other structural failures in the tank. To prevent stratification, operators unloading a LNG ship measure the density of the cargo and, if necessary, adjust their unloading procedures accordingly. LNG tanks have rollover protection systems which include distributed temperature sensors and pump-around mixing systems.


LNG is less dense than water, so if it were released on water it would float and then vaporize. If large volumes of LNG are released on water, it may vaporize too quickly causing a rapid phase transition (RPT). Water temperature and the presence of substances other than
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methane also affect the likelihood of an RPT (Foss, 2006). An RPT can only occur if there is mixing between the LNG and water. This includes seawater so if there is a spill during bunkering, it could produce a flammable blast large enough to damage lightweight structures and injure personnel. This is particularly a concern on onboard passenger vessels and cruise ships where large numbers of passengers are in close proximity to the bunkering operation.

CONCLUSIONS The use of LNG as a marine fuel reduces carbon emissions by 25 percent, nitrogen oxides (NOx) by 92%, Sulfur oxides (SOx) by 100 percent, particulate matter by 100 percent. The environmental benefits are very clear. The economic case is also clear due to the lower energy price of LNG when compared to MDO or MGO. Capital costs for an LNG propulsion system could be almost double, but the return on investment will be from the fuel cost savings over the lifecycle of the vessel. Fueling coastal and inland commercial vessels with LNG or CNG will also reduce the nation’s dependence on imported oil.

New discoveries of Shale gas in the United States have solved the supply issue. The potential for the bridging the LNG infrastructure exists. There are already thirteen LNG import terminals in the United States. Shell has recently partnered with Wartsila to bring LNG to North American marine customers starting with the Gulf Coast. Companies such as Hamworthy, TGE Marine, Linde Group and Clean Energy Fuels are eager to support new LNG marine infrastructure


projects. Cheniere Energy Partners plans to add liquefaction capability to export LNG from their Sabine Pass plant by 2015. This puts LNG liquefaction right in the Gulf of Mexico.

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Internal combustion engines can burn natural gas just as easily as any other fuel. In fact LNG is a cleaner burning fuel so the engine maintenance costs are lower. There is also a wide range of marine technology making the consumption of natural gas as a marine fuel a reality. International prime-mover and propulsion system manufactures such as Wartsila, MAN, and Rolls Royce as well as U.S. engine manufactures such as Caterpillar, Cummings, and General Electric offer dual fuel and natural gas propulsion solutions to meet any power requirement.

The fear that once accompanied transporting liquid natural gas is unfounded. Natural gas is flammable but so are all fuel sources. If they were not flammable they could not be considered a fuel source! Natural gas in a cryogenic state is liquid, but it is not pressurized and cannot ignite without first vaporizing and finding an ignition source. This is no different than any other fuel. LNG has been safely transported and burned as fuel in the marine industry for over a half century. The widespread use of LNG as a marine fuel can be safely accomplished with appropriate designs and with the appropriate training and implementation strategies. As a result, the USA and the world will be able to enjoy the benefits of a cleaner fuel and reduced air pollution and help wean itself off of oil as a transportation fuel.

The world has already begun the transition to make LNG a viable marine fuel. In the United States, there is still quite a bit of missing bunkering infrastructure that will need to be built before LNG or CNG can be used; however, its abundant supply makes it the natural choice as


a fuel of the future for the marine industry in general and the U.S. in particular. It looks as though Shell, Clean Energy Fuels and others will play a role in building LNG infrastructure here in the U.S. which is great. This is an exciting time as the road to Energy Independence has
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begun and this paradigm shift may be the spark our economy needs. The necessity of moving forward with this transition is obvious. Let’s get moving!


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MS. (2011, Nov) Ring of confidence. Maritime Connector.  MTD. (2011, June 20) US commercial shipbuilding: a strategic national asset. Metal Trades Department. 9195&page=Shipbuilding  Munoz, T. (2011, Aug) Op-Ed: rebuilding America and creating jobs—a Jones Act initiative. The Maritime executive. NGSA. (2010) Industry and market structure. Natural Gas Supply Association  NMTRI. (2010, Nov) Emission factors for CH4, NOx, particulates and black carbon for domestic shipping in Norway. Norwegian Marine Technology Research Institute.  NPB. (2011, Apr) Energy department oks natural gas exports from Louisiana. New Orleans Publishing Group. 


Pickens, T. (2011, Apr) Big think with T Boone Pickens. The Daily Pickens.  Pietila, M. (2009, April) W TUG—full speed ahead! Twenty- Four7. Wärtsilä.com.
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APPENDIX A June 24, 2011

Dear Mr. Pickins,


I fully support your efforts to expand the nation's use of natural gas as an alternative to imported oil. I would like to take this opportunity to give you a suggestion for fostering your goals to wean the nation off oil and stop the nation from being bled of its wealth. As an introduction, I am a 1997 graduate of the United States Merchant Marine Academy with a degree in Marine Engineering and I am presently a student in the Academy's Master of Science in Marine Engineering program. My professional career includes 10 years sailing as a shipboard Marine Engineer aboard commercial vessels and 5 years ashore working in Technical Advisory capacity with Hornbeck Offshore Operators. As part of my graduate studies, I am working on a thesis addressing the bunkering (refueling) of vessels with LNG. As a result of my thesis work, I have become a member of the ISO TC67 WG10 which is an International Standards Organization Work Group for the Oil and Gas industry to standardize procedures and equipment associated with using LNG as fuel to ships. The Norwegian classification society (Det Norske Veritas) has taken the lead on this work. Norway has over 20 vessels in coastwise shipping service using LNG as fuel with another 10 vessels on order. In addition, my work has put me in contact with numerous marine industry people who have an interest in using LNG as a marine transportation fuel and in short sea shipping. As a result of the knowledge I gained through my studies and my general appreciation for the dire economic straits of our nation, I believe I have an idea for accomplishing your goals of using natural gas in lieu of imported oil as a transportation fuel and concurrently increasing the nation's industrial activity. The idea is to rebuild the nation’s Jones Act coastal and inland fleet with new LNG fueled vessels (some could be fueled by CNG) and establish the infrastructure to easily and conveniently fuel these vessels. As Jones Act vessels, they would have to be built in domestic shipyards and essentially use material and equipment originating in the U.S. The economic impact of rebuilding the Jones Act fleet includes many sectors of American industry from engineering design, to mining of ore, to making of steel, to building ships, to outfitting ships. Once in operation, these vessels (coastal ships, tugboats, towboats, ferries,etc.) would become major consumers of natural gas and reduce our dependence on imported oil. As my thesis advisor reminded me, most of the developing countries of the 20th Century (Japan, Korea, China, etc.) started their industrial growth by building ships. We are now at a point where we must reinvigorate our industrial base. In my opinion, you with your
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national influence could be the catalyst for invigorating the U.S. economy by rebuilding the Jones Act fleet and significantly increasing the use of natural gas as a transportation fuel. I believe with appropriate tax incentives and encouragement from our Washington leadership, private industry would make the necessary investment and we, as a nation, would be the winners.
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Edward J. Eastlack Hornbeck Offshore Operators, LLC "Service with Energy" 103 Northpark Blvd, Suite 300 Covington, LA, 70433 Mobile.: +1 504.432.2785 Office: +1985.624.1207 Mail: Home: v9699EvOl0c


Appendix B

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