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Tuesday, February 9, 2021 

Norwegian company H°glund Marine Solutions has signed a contract with shipyard Abeking & Rasmussen (A&R) to supply the Fuel Gas Supply System (FGSS) for three multipurpose vessels built for the German government, owned by Wasserstra▀en- und Schifffahrtsverwaltung des Bundes (WSV - German Federal Waterways and Shipping Administration).

Bundesanstalt für Wasserbau (BAW - Federal Waterways Engineering and Research Institute) is the supervisory body for design and construction. To meet the hazardous atmosphere specifications, Høglund will be collaborating with Oldenburg-based HB Hunte Engineering. The project makes A&R the only shipyard worldwide offering LNG-fuelled vessels that are qualified to operate in hazardous atmospheres.

The 90m-plus vessels will be equipped with 12,000kW power plants, capable of 145 tonnes of bollard pull, and will have a maximum speed more than 15 knots. The three vessels will be exclusively LNG-powered. Although suitable for worldwide operation, they will be deployed within the German coastline where they will carry out works on sea marks, pollution control and hydroacoustic equipment as well as in pollution control, emergency towing and firefighting.

A&R, Høglund and HB Hunte Engineering have collaborated on development of a dedicated gas safety concept. With Høglund taking responsibility for the overall FGSS product delivery, HB Hunte will contribute the LNG tank design, pipe engineering and integration of the LNG system into the wider vessel architecture.

Equipping an LNG fuelled vessel to conduct waterborne firefighting, pollution control and emergency response missions is a particular challenge, as safety must be guaranteed even in hazardous atmospheres. The design of the new vessels meets Lloyds Register’s class requirements satisfying the strict rules for gas and low flashpoint fuels (IGF Code) aggravated by operation in hazardous atmosphere (gas protection operation). Roles including waterborne firefighting, pollution control and emergency response missions pose particular safety challenges for LNG-fuelled vessels.

Peter Morsbach, VP sales operations, Høglund, said: “With increased uptake of LNG as an alternative fuel, it is important that systems such as the FGSS and dedicated automation are in place to support its safe and effective use. We must take into account complex safety concerns stemming from impacts on the operational profile and atmosphere. In this case here, the focus lies on the system’s safety concept and related design measures in terms of the tank connection spaces, gas treatment rooms, ventilation and monitoring. When entering hazardous atmospheres, the vessel switches into a 'citadel mode' when external air exchange and ventilation is temporarily recessed, potentially for several hours. This important feature excludes the common way proposed by the IGF Code to treat rooms containing gas equipment. LNG can be a challenge on any vessel and is made harder when considering the specification for an LNG fuelled vessel that will undertake high-risk operations such as firefighting and emergency towing in heavy seas. I’m proud to say that we at Høglund together with HB Hunte, are working with A&R, WSV and BAW to combine our expertise in a collaboration that will deliver a safe, versatile and highly customized LNG solution to help the WSV fulfil its vital public service role.”

Csaba Piller, Project Manager, A&R, said: “The German Federal Government looking to use LNG powered vessels in a challenging, unique and versatile role represents a significant milestone for the growth of the LNG-fuelled fleet. We are glad that we are collaborating with Høglund and HB Hunte to meet the exacting specifications laid down by the client to ensure these newbuild vessels deliver their role safely and sustainably.”

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