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Skangas carries out first at-sea LNG cooling and bunkering

Written by Nick Blenkey
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Receiving vessel Navigator Aurora is the world's largest type-C ethane/ethylene carrier

OCTOBER 12, 2017 — In another first for Skangas, its LNG bunkering vessel Coralius has both cooled down the fuel tanks of a vessel and supplied it with LNG in one operation.

The receiving vessel, Navigator Aurora, was supplied with just under 500 tonnes of LNG in the middle of a voyage between Sweden and South Europe.

The complete operation took place at Danafjord outside Gothenburg October 7-8 and was considered a great success.

Switching from diesel oil to LNG operation requires the cooling of the receiving ship’s fuel gas tanks from ambient conditions to minus 160 degrees. The operation is time consuming but necessary. The Navigator Aurora’s design allows her to pre-cool her fuel gas tanks before LNG spray is introduced, reducing the cooling down period considerably. All in all, this first cooling and bunkering operation took less than 24 hours with the transfer of the main parcel taking 6 hours.

Skangas is hailing the at-sea cooling and bunkering of the Navigator Aurora as a milestone for the industry that proves that, with careful planning and teamwork, this type of operation where LNG bunkers is supplied to vessels while transiting between ports, is not only efficient but also very safe.

“The Navigator Aurora is the world’s largest type-C ethane/ethylene carrier and we just proved our ability to serve yet another shipping segment. We experience an increased interest from diversified ship owners to take LNG bunker directly from a bunker vessel”, says Gunnar Helmen, Sales Manager Marine in Skangas. “Due to this operation together with the team on Navigator Aurora we also gained a lot of valuable experience.”

“The LNG cooling and bunker operation is a first for us and we spent lots of time in the planning and execution with all stakeholders to get it right. We are very happy with the result and hope to be able to use the experiences we have gained to support the industry also going forward” says Tommy Hjälmås, Director of Newbuilds and Special Projects at Navigator Gas.

In addition, the operation was Coralius’ largest bunkering thus far.

Skangas took delivery of the 5,800 cu.m Coralius, the first European-built LNG bunker and distribution vessel from the owners September 2.

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