LNG Carriers Getting Air Lubrication Systems From TMC

By Jack Burke23 January 2020

TMC Compressors of the Seas (TMC) will supply Hyundai Heavy Industries with its air lubrication system compressors for seven liquefied natural gas (LNG) carriers the Korean shipbuilder is constructing for Capital Gas Corp.

TMC has developed a range of marine compressors for use in combination with air lubrication systems (ALS) to help ships reduce fuel consumption and emissions to air.

Under the contract, TMC will supply three marine ALS compressors to each of the seven LNG carriers, for a total of 21 compressor units. TMC will also provide its ALS control system that is integrated in a specially designed control cabinet. TMC has not disclosed the value of the contract.

The equipment will be manufactured in Norway and shipped to Hyundai Heavy Industries in Korea.

“During the past 15 years, we have more or less constantly tried to identify new ways of reducing energy consumption and the environmental footprint of our compressors,” said Hans Petter Tanum, TMC’s director of sales and business development. “Identifying new usage areas for our compressors, such as ALS, is part of our commitment to making shipping greener. Landing such a significant contract with Hyundai Heavy Industries is a fantastic seal of approval for our new range of ALS compressors.”

ALS is a method used to reduce the resistance between the ship’s hull and seawater by using air bubbles. The air bubble distribution across the hull surface reduces the resistance working on the ship’s hull, creating energy-saving effects.

The seven LNG carriers in question will be equipped Hyundai Heavy Industries’ self-developed Hi-ALS air lubrication system. According to Hyundai Heavy Industries, its Hi-ALS system can cut fuel consumption by up to eight percent.

TMC’s marine compressed air systems for ALS will be coupled with the Hi-ALS system to generate the required stream of air bubbles that passes continuously beneath the ship’s surface, thereby reducing frictional resistance between the hull and the seawater and producing the desired energy-saving effect.

“Given the significant operational cost savings that ALS offer shipowners, we expect this technology to become mainstream in the coming decade. To play a part in this trend through our marine compressor technology is certainly one of our key objectives going forward,” said Hans Petter Tanum.

The seven LNG newbuilds will each have a cargo capacity of 174 000 m3, and will be delivered in 2020 and 2021.

TMC offers compressors for ALS applications that ranges from 50 kW to 400 kW capacity, plus the associated ALS control system. The company is headquartered in Oslo, Norway.

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Total project amount is approximately €1 billion