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Wärtsilä solutions chosen for first Japanese built LNG-fuelled ferries



Wärtsilä solutions chosen for first Japanese built LNG-fuelled ferries. Image: Wartsila
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The technology group Wärtsilä will provide a complete LNG package, comprising the Wärtsilä 31DF engine, gearbox, and LNGPac storage, supply and control system for two new ferries being built on behalf of Ferry Sunflower, a subsidiary of Mitsui O.S.K. Lines.

The ships are being built at Mitsubishi’s Shimonoseki shipyard in Japan, and will be the first LNG-fuelled ferries to be built in Japan. The order with Wärtsilä was booked in the second quarter of 2020.

This newbuild project has been adopted for Japan’s energy conservation rating system for coastal ships, a demonstration test programme to enhance operational efficiency.

The Wärtsilä 31DF dual-fuel engine was chosen for these ferries specifically because of its very high efficiency. It also provides safe and continuous gas mode operation, which were other key requirements in the specification.

“Wärtsilä’s vast experience and know-how in LNG solutions for the marine sector is again recognised with this landmark order for the first Japanese built LNG-fuelled ferries. We are able to offer LNG-based products and systems having a proven design and high performance, with a strong reference list that supports our value proposition,” says Keisuke Yasutake, Area Sales Manager, Wärtsilä Japan.

“MOL is dedicated to reducing the environmental impact of its business activities, and these two ferries are being built in line with that objective. By operating on LNG they will have a greatly reduced carbon footprint, and the high-performance Wärtsilä engine fits our requirements perfectly,” says Mr Makoto Yamaguchi, General Manager, Technical Division, Mitsui O.S.K. Lines.

The about 200 metres long ‘Sunflower Kurenai’ and ‘Sunflower Murasaki’ will be capable of carrying approximately 763 passengers, 136 trucks and 100 passenger cars at a speed of 22.5 knots. They are scheduled to commence operations in 2023 on the Osaka – Beppu route.

Wärtsilä has had lengthy and strong relationships with both MOL and Mitsubishi. Mitsubishi Shipyards, for example, has delivered ferries, LNG carriers, and a seismic research vessel all with Wärtsilä engines.


Sales of “Honesty” – device to measure the level of liquid in tanks – exceeds 1,000 units



Sales of “Honesty” - device to measure the level of liquid in tanks - exceeds 1,000 units. Image: NYK Line
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The number of orders for “Honesty” (patented for some functions), a tank sounding device* that allows for the accurate and efficient measurement of the level of liquid in tanks on cargo ships (e.g., ballast tanks and fuel tanks), has exceeded 1,000 units.

Honesty significantly shortens the time required to measure the level of liquid in a tank, reduces crew workload, and benefits the fuel supplier by guaranteeing accurate quantity measurements. The device was developed by NYK and the MTI Co., Ltd with the aim of offering a solution to errors in oil quantity.

Since sales of the device started in June 2014, the time required for measurements has been greatly shortened by about 75% compared to the previous model, and the instrument’s accurate quantity measurement has received excellent reviews. Customer comments have included “it was easy for even inexperienced people taking measurements,” and “it was possible to take accurate measurements even in clear water.” Overall, the device has been very well received.

Characteristics of Honesty

1. Notification with lamp and buzzer
・When the sensor mounted on the tip of the measuring device touches the liquid surface, the lamp and buzzer at hand are activated. The displayed value allows the user to accurately observe the distance to the liquid surface.
・The previous method of inserting the sounding tape into the tank to the predicted distance of the level of the liquid in the tank and visually confirming the liquid attached to the tape scale is no longer necessary.

2. No reaction to bubbles; measure senses the level of the liquid
・Even if cappuccino bunker** occurs, the correct amount of oil can be measured because the sensor does not respond to bubbles on the liquid surface.

3. Accurately reacts to various liquids
・It is possible to measure the liquid level of MGO, seawater, and fresh water, which was difficult in the past.

4. Portable, convenient to carry
・Lightweight and easy to carry. Uses standard batteries for power, and an external power supply is not required.

We will continue to make improvements based on feedback from users and attempt to continually improve product quality.

Based on the medium-term management plan “Staying Ahead 2022 with Digitalization and Green,” the Group will accelerate digitalization efforts and continue to work with partners to innovate in the maritime industry.

* Tank Sounding
Measuring the depth of the liquid in the tank installed on the ship and the distance from the tank top to the surface of the liquid.

** Cappuccino Bunker
A state in which small bubbles are mixed in the fuel oil and supplied to the ship, making the oil appear to be larger in quantity.

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Oil and Gas

Mitsui O.S.K. Lines and LNG Terminal Wilhelmshaven sign a contract to build and charter an LNG terminal ship




Mitsui O.S.K. Lines and LNG Terminal Wilhelmshaven sign a contract to build and charter an LNG terminal ship. Image: Wikimedia/ Pline
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MOL and LTW (LNG Terminal Wilhelmshaven) have signed a contract to build and charter an LNG terminal ship—known in the industry as a Floating Storage and Regasification Unit (FSRU)—for the planned LNG landing terminal in Wilhelmshaven on the North Sea.

LTW is the project developer and operator behind the future LNG terminal in Wilhelmshaven and a fully owned subsidiary of Uniper S.E. The FSRU will be built in a shipyard belonging to South Korean company DSME (Daewoo Shipbuilding Marine Engineering Co., Ltd., Geoje, Korea), and then chartered by LTW for 20 years. It has been planned and custom designed by the two contracting parties in accordance with the local and environmental requirements for the German market and the Wilhelmshaven site.

The FSRU constitutes the heart of the future terminal and will make it possible to offload, store and regasify LNG for the German market. It will be moored off the coast not far from Wilhelmshaven and will handle incoming LNG tankers there.

The regasified gas will then be pumped from the FSRU along a short
connecting pipeline under the sea to the port facilities and finally fed into the German gas transmission network. This eliminates the need to construct complex regasification facilities on land. This optimized planning will minimize the environmental impact both on land and on the seabed by a non-disruptive crossing of the natural habitat identified in the environmental studies.

Uniper Member of the Board and Chief Operating Officer David Bryson says: “The agreement to build and charter this FSRU is an important milestone for both parties on the journey to establishing an LNG terminal in Wilhelmshaven; it underlines the joint desire for collaboration on this ambitious project. This new agreement will build on the successful and trusting collaboration with MOL on previous major projects in the
LNG ship market. The LNG terminal in Wilhelmshaven is a long-term project based on the prediction that demand for imported natural gas on the German and European energy markets will increase significantly
over the coming years. Based on Uniper’s many years of experience in the European gas business and project management, LTW is pushing ahead with the terminal project in Wilhelmshaven to give companies from all over the world optimal access to customers in Europe — and, vice versa, to open up a new supply channel for customers.”

MOL Executive Officer Hiroyuki Nakano says: “We are excited to move one step further to materialise Germany’s first Liquefied Natural Gas receiving project. Our Floating Storage and Regasification Unit of some 263,000m3 storage capacity is of a unique tailored design to meet all customer requirements to provide economical regasification service and comply with German Environmental Regulations. Our mission from this special moment is to execute the project and deliver the unit on time. MOL has expanded its
global FSRU business over the past few years. We are confident that our operational and technical experience gained will enhance the project in Germany and provide a seamless, safe and efficient service to LTW.”

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Gazprom Neft Omsk Refinery upgrades infrastructure to supply oil products to areas in the Russian Far North



Gazprom Neft Omsk Refinery upgrades infrastructure to supply oil products to areas in the Russian Far North. Image: Gazprom Neft
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Gazprom Neft’s Omsk Refinery has completed a major upgrading of its berthing facilities in time for the opening of the river-navigation season. About 300,000 tonnes of diesel, gasoline and aviation fuels produced by the Omsk Refinery will be sent to ports in the Ob—Irtysh river basin this summer and autumn.

The larger part of river shipments to customers in the Yamalo-Nenets and Khanty-Mansiysk Automous Okrugs comprise winter and Arctic diesel fuels essential to ensuring the continuous operation of specialist equipment.

In addition to which, every year the Omsk Refinery facilitates shipments of aviation fuels needed by airports — Anadyr, Pevek and Kereveem — in the Chukotka Autonomous Okrug, with shipments being made along the Irtysh and Ob rivers and, subsequently, along the Northern Sea Route.

Thanks to work on modernising technological pipelines and mooring equipment, efficiency in ensuring uninterrupted shipments to oil tankers via the Omsk Refinery’s berthing facilities will increase.

The company has successfully implemented a system for measuring oil volumes shipped to oil-carrier vessels, ensuring the full accuracy of fuel shipments.

“The Gazprom Neft Omsk Refinery is constantly developing technologies for ensuring the high-precision, environmentally friendly shipment of oil products. In improving river shipments during the navigation season the business is effectively acting as a guarantor in ensuring the stability of fuel supplies to customers in the remote northern areas of the West Siberian Federal Okrug.” Oleg Belyavsky Director General, Gazprom Neft Omsk Refinery

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