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Tuesday, April 7, 2020 

Pump specialist Svanehj of Aalborg, Denmark has been selected to supply South Korean shipyards Samsung Heavy Industries and Hyundai Heavy Industries with six shipsets of gas pumping equipment for VLEC tanker newbuilds for a Chinese customer.

Svanehøj will supply eight cargo pumps, two fuel pumps and four spray pumps for each of the six VLEC’s. The cargo pumps will unload the ethane when the ships dock in China, and will otherwise be idle during the crossing from the US. The ethane will be transported at -94ºC and, during the crossing, the spray pumps will keep the tanks refrigerated. The fuel pumps carry the liquid ethane from the tanks and to the main engine. All pumps measure 28.5m in length.

The first shipset has already been despatched, and full-scale tests are currently being undertaken at the factory's 35m test tower.

Project Manager Lars Foged of Svanehøj said: "Our tower simulates the conditions on board the ship. The pump is suspended in the tower, in the same way as in the tank, and during the four hours of testing, we measure the changes in temperature and vibration. For us, it is a facility of incredible importance, because we are able to demonstrate 'robustness of design', so that customers can see for themselves that our pumps are as efficient and stable as we say they are." 

The pumps have been specially developed for handling liquefied ethane, by Svanehøj in collaboration with French gas tank specialist, GTT.

"A cargo pump operates for perhaps 1000 hours per year, while a fuel pump is in operation 24/7 when you’re sailing. That’s why it is crucial for the customer to know for sure that a pump is safe and reliable and can withstand the load of pumping gas to the engines on ships as large as these," said Foged.

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