ABS Grants AIP To SpaceTech4Sea Composite LNG Tanks
Carbon Fiber LNG Fuel Tanks that is inspired by the common space industry techniques has been granted the Approval in Principle by ABS for its conceptual design.
For the SpaceTech4Sea Project, it is a very important milestone where it has ABS, OceanFinance and Cimarron Composites join force adapting the technologies that are developed for industries from space to shipping.
This project was funded with €1M by the European Union. It was to see if the composite technology that is not only lighter but also more cost effective will be able to give it’s alternative LNG a competition as a marine fuel, especially for short sea shipping.
“The potential of this technology to reduce barriers to the utilization of LNG as fuel for short sea shipping is significant. This composite technology has proven itself in other industries; we are committed to learning how to safely apply those lessons to benefit the maritime industries,” said ABS Vice President for Global Gas Solutions, Patrick Janssens.
“This is an exciting opportunity for us to apply our aerospace heritage to a marine application. Reducing the mass of components is very important to both aerospace and marine applications,” said Cimarron Composites Owner and Chief Executive Tom Delay.
“It is in our future plans to examine the commercial application and see how this game-changing product will benefit the maritime industry. LNG as a marine fuel has just won a strong ally,” said Ocean Finance Managing Director, Dr. Panayotis Zacharioudakis.
The main aim of the team is to make tanks that atrract new buildings and a marine fuel like LNG retrofits by cost cutting, reduction in weight and an increment in the cargo capacity of the vessels. The SpaceTech4Sea is initially focusing on high-speed vessels which a tank capacity ranging from small to medium. However, technology can have applications of a great range. It gives a weight saving of over 80% when compared to that of tank designs of LNG, it is not affected by corrosion and it also introduces the marine operation with the safety standards of space technology.
The SpaceTech4Sea is being followed with great interest by Attica Group, owner of Superfast Ferries, Blue Star Ferries, Hellenic Seaways and AML. They are evaluating this technology for their future projects.
“The AIP of the ultralight composite tanks for marine use constitutes a major factor in the design and increases the potential of using them both in retrofits and in new buildings of weight-sensitive LNG-fueled vessels,” said Costis Stamboulelis, Executive Management Advisor, Newbuildings & Development, Attica Group.
At present, the tanks are made manually. However, the automatic production of these tanks is being looked forward to by the project which will make its pricing competitive in the market.
The AIP gives guidance on the basis of which the tank technology can be approved for marine applications after the analysis and tests that are required to done according to the set rules and standards.