GE Power Conversion books LNG ship, FSRU orders

LNG-vessel -BP-British-EmeraldAPRIL 17, 2013 — GE's Power Conversion business (NYSE: GE) announced today it has been awarded new contracts for orders of electric power and propulsion systems on two liquid natural gas (LNG) carriers and an LNG Floating Storage Regasification Unit (FSRU). In total, GE has signed contracts to supply systems for 26 LNG carriers and five FSRUs. In the last six months alone, the company has signed contracts worth around $80 million.

The contracts highlight the success that GE is having with its power and propulsion technology in the LNG segment and elsewhere.

The first vessel built by Hyundai Heavy Industries to be fitted with GE’s electrical propulsion technology was the LNG carrier British Emerald in 2007

"We use high power pulse width modulation (PWM) technology to bring important added value to the end customer," says Jean-Philippe Chaignot, merchant marine business leader for GE's Power Conversion business. "Along with our induction motors, it is one of the most robust technologies available, and it substantially increases the overall availability of the system as a whole."

Recent contracts won by GE include:

  • Signed in March, GE's propulsion system was chosen by shipbuilder Hyundai Heavy Industries for a FSRU ordered by Höegh LNG.
  • Hyundai Heavy Industries also selected GE's power and propulsion system for an LNG carrier being built for Tsakos Energy Navigation. GE will supply four generators, four propulsion transformers, two propulsion converters, two propulsion motors, four distribution transformers, main and cargo switchboards and remote control. GE also will provide project management, system and equipment engineering, commissioning and assistance for sea and gas trials.
  • Daewoo Shipbuilding & Marine Engineering (DSME) chose GE's power and propulsion technology for two new LNG carriers to be built for Maran Gas Maritime, the gas shipping unit of the Angelicoussis Shipping Group. This is the eleventh time that Maran Gas has chosen GE's Power Conversion business for its LNG carriers. GE will supply a complete system comprising four generators, two propulsion converters, two propulsion motors, four distribution transformers, main and cargo switchboards and remote control. GE also will provide project management, system and equipment engineering, commissioning and assistance for sea and gas trials.

Mr. Chaignot says that the electric drive concept has become the technology of choice for LNG carriers because of its overall performance. GE's combination of high power PWM technology based on insulated gate bipolar transistors (IGBTs) together with robustly simple induction motor technology offers important advantages to ship owners.

"The simplicity of induction-based propulsion motor technology makes it more reliable, helps lower routine or emergency maintenance costs and provide lower life-cycle costs of ownership," Mr. Chaignot says. "This is a proven technology that GE's Power Conversion business has advanced in the marine industry and which it is now applying extensively in sectors as diverse as naval, offshore, cruise ships and others, where multi-megawatt power with excellent performance in terms of power, propulsion efficiency is called for."

Induction motors for the marine industry were developed 15 years ago by GE's Power Conversion business for the U.S., British and French navies. Today, GE says that it remains the only company with marine applications that combine high-powered induction motors with PWM. GE's Power Conversion unit was the first company to equip a full-size LNG carrier with electric propulsion, Gaz de France Energy, in 2002.

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