Wärtsilä will provide its Volatile Organic Compounds (VOC) recovery technology, LNG fuel gas handling systems and the auxiliary engines for two shuttle tankers being built for Singapore-based AET Tankers at the Samsung Heavy Industries shipyard in South Korea. The 30 MEUR order was booked in January.

The ships will operate on liquefied natural gas (LNG) as the primary fuel, but VOC – the gas evaporating from the oil cargo tanks – will also be utilised as fuel by mixing it with the LNG, reducing the vessels’ bunkering needs. This is made possible by Wärtsilä’s VOC recovery system, which, by combining the VOC with the LNG, provides the potential for savings of over 3000t of fuel each year per vessel. This is in addition to the notable environmental benefits the use of gas as fuel provides by enabling a significant reduction in CO2 emissions.

This ground-breaking technology for creating a fuel mix of LNG and recovered VOC, both for the two-stroke main engine, as well as the four-stroke auxiliary engines, is expected to ignite the interest of tanker fleet owners around the world. Improved economic and environmental performance is a clear industry target for future operations.

Wärtsilä Marine Solutions Processing Solutions vice president Timo Koponen said: “Wärtsilä is, once again, ahead of the curve with its VOC recovery technology, which was a key consideration in the award of this contract.

“The fuel savings efficiency of the system enables a fast pay-back time, while the reduction in emissions of CO2 equivalents is as much as 40% when compared to conventional solutions.”

Wärtsilä’s scope of supply for each of these ships includes the VOC recovery plant, the liquefied VOC fuel tank, the fuel mixing unit, the LNG fuel tank and fuel supply system, the gas valve unit (GVU) and two Wärtsilä 34DF dual-fuel auxiliary engines. The equipment is scheduled for delivery to the yard commencing in the autumn of this year.

The 277m-long, 125,000 DWT tankers will operate mainly for Statoil, the Norwegian state-owned energy company, in the North Sea.