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A compact solution for controlling LNGBV cargo tank pressure

21 Apr 2020
by John Snyder

Heatmaster is supplying dual-fuel burners equipped with gas combustion unit functionality for newbuild LNG bunker vessels

Headquartered in the Port of Rotterdam, marine boiler manufacturer Heatmaster BV has carved out a niche in the global LNG bunkering vessel market. The Dutch manufacturer focuses on designing, engineering and supplying the complete thermal oil or hot water boiler system for the engineroom or cargo heating. Serving as a turnkey provider, designer and integrator, Heatmaster supplies the mechanical and electrical systems and sources valves, pumps and other systems from other marine suppliers.

“We are working with a number of shipyards in China and about 60 to 70% of our business is in Asia,” Heatmaster BV global sales director Pieter Borg tells LNG Shipping & Terminals. Heatmaster has secured orders to supply thermal oil or hot water boilers with dual-fuel burners, including all of the necessary equipment, such as a gas valve unit (GVU) for LNG bunker vessels under construction at Chinese shipyards.

“For the LNG bunkering vessels, normally there is not a lot of heat requirement as the vessels need cooling more than heating,” says Mr Borg. “But LNG bunkering vessels are required to keep the LNG cargo tank below the safety valve pressure setpoint according to IGC regulations.”

 “The burners can be equipped with GCU functionality, which enables the operator to control the gas pressure in the cargo tank”

Heatmaster’s burners that incorporate GCU functionality also have the advantage of compactness. Typical GCUs, originally designed for large LNG carriers, are rather large and require a large diameter exhaust funnel for cooling the exhaust gas. With space at a premium on an LNG bunker vessel, this is not a desirable design, says Mr Borg. “For the capacity required on an LNG bunker vessel, using a boiler with GCU functionality is a more compact solution. The installation will have a far lower exhaust gas temperature, which is an additional advantage,” he adds.

Heatmaster is supplying complete thermal oil or hot water boiler systems for LNG bunker vessel newbuildings for Avenir LNG at Keppel Nantong Shipyard and Sinopacific Offshore Engineering, Eesti Gaas at Damen Yichang and Gazpromneft at Keppel Nantong Shipyard.

Mr Borg says the shipyards are now returning to business following the closures necessitated by the coronavirus pandemic in China. “We had to close our factory in Nantong, too. As a result of the temporary shipyard and factory closures due to the virus, some of these projects have been delayed by several weeks. The good thing about it is that everyone understands,” he says. All the vessels are expected to be delivered between 2020 and 2021.

Another positive, Mr Borg points out, is that there were no infections at Heatmaster’s factory in Nantong. He says safeguards are still in place at the factory to protect employees, including the use of face masks and twice-a-day temperature checks.