AET selects dual fuel option for new Aframaxes

Apr 07 2017

Up to four of AET’s new Aframaxes, currently under construction at Samsung Heavy Industries, will be equipped with an LNG dual fuel propulsion system.

The 113,000 dwt vessels, due for delivery from the third quarter of 2018 onwards, will replace existing tonnage, as part of an ongoing fleet renewal programme. AET said it anticipated that up to half of its Aframax fleet and other tankers, including VLCCs, will also adopt the LNG dual fuel option over the next few years.

The new ships will have global trading flexibility but their initial operations will focus on areas with LNG bunker availability, AET said. Fitted with twin LNG tanks, the vessels will have the ability to sail with LNG as a fuel for about a month before bunkering and will likely operate in North America, Northwest Europe and Asia. The company said it was actively working with potential LNG suppliers to ensure reliability of the LNG bunker supply chain globally.

AET also said that it was committed to further improving its environmental footprint through adopting responsible maritime practices that move it towards the ultimate goal of safe, secure and efficient shipping.

The company has been working on a ‘Green Sustainable Agenda’ to control the emission of ‘particulate matters (PM), sulphur oxides (SOx), nitrogen oxides (NOx) and carbon (CO2).

Investment in LNG-fuelled ships is the sustainable solution, both in the mid and long term, and this LNG solution also strengthens AET’s resilience to fluctuations in operating costs, the company explained. 

AET, a wholly owned subsidiary of Malaysian energy shipping corporation MISC Berhad, said that it anticipated significant growth in the global fleet of LNG-fuelled vessels, having conducted its own LNG fuelling feasibility study since 2015, the results of which support the findings of industry participants and other experts.

The company has also conducted a comprehensive fleet review that has mapped expected LNG bunkering infrastructure expansion across strategic locations, alongside traditional bunkering for LSFO and MGO, to ensure security of supply and optimum operational efficiency across its global operations from 2020 onwards.  

Yee Yang Chien, Chairman, AET and President/Group CEO, MISC Berhad, commented: “As an organisation, operating in a responsible manner and improving our environmental stewardship is key to the way business is managed at MISC. We have complete confidence that LNG will play a significant part in the marine fuels mix in the coming years, and we have been reviewing the feasibility of developing a dual fuel LNG fleet since 2015.

MISC is a leading global transporter of LNG, with unparalleled experience in handling LNG cargoes and a complete understanding of the entire supply chain. We are utilising this experience with the new AET ships, which we believe sets us ahead of other operators with similar vessels. Our experience allows us to have confidence that the required infrastructure for LNG bunkering will develop at pace as we approach 2020 giving much more trading flexibility in the future,” he said.

Capt Rajalingam Subramaniam, President & CEO, AET, said: “At AET we are fully committed to building a sustainable fleet and working to develop solutions that improve our environmental footprint. Our ‘Green Sustainable Agenda’ aims to provide innovative solutions based on our experience across our different asset classes. This is further enhanced by a close working relationship with Samsung Heavy Industries.

“Our customers and strategic partners have been very supportive and I would like to extend my thanks and appreciation to all our major customers and strategic partners with whom we have worked very closely to determine LNG supply availability and commercial viability of our vessels. Now we look forward to working with our entire customer base to lead the way in this sector.

“As a business, it is important that we have the ability to operate with flexibility in the face of change, which means developing a diverse fleet portfolio, expanding our core capabilities and investing in people – both at sea and onshore – who are equipped to flawlessly operate our vessels with optimum efficiency,” he concluded.

Alongside the dual fuel LNG engines, the new Aframaxes will be fitted with a range of eco-innovations to maximise fuel efficiency and minimise their emission impact on the natural environment – this will enable them to be awarded the ‘green passport’ notation. They will also be fitted with an IMO-compliant ballast water management system.

Samsung’s president and CEO, Dae-young Park, said: “These new vessels represent a milestone for AET, the tanker sector and the commercial shipping industry as a whole. We are proud to be able to play our part in what is a truly innovative project. By choosing the LNG option, AET has raised the bar and it will be only a matter of time before other operators follow.”

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