Association Technique Maritime et Aéronautique

Numéro : 2660 - Year : 2014

A new technology for LNG carriers: the NO96max

Florent OUVRARD, Gaztransport & Technigaz


There is obviously a lot to say about LNG carriers link to Innovation. Following years of technical improvement, engineers have succeeded in providing the necessary safety and competitiveness to this industry, in order to promote an energy more ecology friendly than oil.

The ship propulsion is a relevant example. After the Steam Turbine and the Low Speed Diesel Engine, the Dual Fuel Diesel Electric allows the LNG carrier to get motioned almost exclusively by burning the gas naturally evaporated in the tanks.

In the 90s and up to 2010, the LNG carriers most of the time cruise at 20 knots as shuttles between loading and unloading terminals. The Natural Boil Off Gas (NBOG) perfectly covers the ship’s needs for propulsion

Nowadays, a combination of two factors leads to a decrease of the NBOG needed for propulsion. The development of « spot market » on the one side, which is associated to a diminution of speed in operation. But also progress made in the hull design and in propulsion efficiency on the other side.

NBOG needs being reduced, it becomes necessary to decrease the Boil Off Rate (BOR) thanks to a significant upgrade of the containment system thermal performances. NO96 Max is devoted to this task, so that to draw the future of the historical NO96 technology.

The step forward brought by NO96 Max can be measured both in the design of the bearing structure, reviewed and optimized, but also in the validation methodologies, using new predictive numerical approaches.

It results in a system offering better thermal performances and more flexibility for shipowners looking for operating the technology in specific filling conditions. Last but not least, contrary to the solutions based on structural foam and linked to a critical suppliers network, this system provide the shipyard with a large panel of suppliers enhancing competition.

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