GEV’s Optimum Ship is the next generation of Marine CNG storage and the result of two decades of CNG development
The Optimum ship design maximizes the amount of Compressed Natural Gas that can be stored within the hull of a ship. The Optimum containment system is constructed using close-packed, high strength pipes that run the entire length of the ship’s cargo hold. The invention of a mechanism to clamp these gas storage pipes so tightly together that they become locked together as one, allows this design to meet all classification requirements.
The Marine CNG Service Model
Marine CNG is the transportation by ship of natural gas stored under pressure. For this purpose natural gas is simply mechanically compressed, as it is in a pipeline. Unlike Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG), CNG does not require complex and expensive liquefaction facilities. CNG is much simpler, less expensive and has a significantly smaller footprint. The result is that CNG can provide an attractive marine transportation solution, which is easier and quicker to permit and implement for the transportation of smaller volumes of gas over shorter distances.
The model for a marine CNG service uses a select number of ships on a given route to shuttle natural gas between supply and sales points. Loading and discharge of gas may be carried out onshore or offshore.
Natural gas is the fuel of choice for power generation and many industries because it is cost effective, easy to handle and efficient. In addition, markets are increasingly demanding natural gas to respond to public pressure to reduce emissions by using cleaner burning fuels.
While they will continue to carry the bulk of natural gas transported nationally and internationally, pipelines and LNG have physical and economic limitations.
Marine CNG is an economic alternative for transporting small to moderate volumes of natural gas over medium distances. It is an ideal solution for monetizing lower volumes of gas because it enables producers to access regional markets that may not be economic to serve with pipelines or LNG.
Marine CNG transportation systems, can be better optimized to meet the specific needs of a particular project than a fixed pipeline. And in locations where financial and political instability may inhibit large-scale infrastructure investment, the ability to redeploy marine CNG assets significantly reduces investment risk.
Natural gas is a vital component of a sustainable energy future, being the ‘transition fuel’ to renewables.
Natural gas usage will increase to replace coal and heavy fuel oil in power plants. This switch in power generation has the greatest short term impact – significantly reducing all polluting emissions and improving air quality.
How Natural Gas compares to Fuel Oil when used for power generation:
- Reduces Carbon Dioxide (CO2) by 29%
- Reduces Oxides of Nitrogen (NOx) by 78%
- Reduces Oxides of Sulphur (SOx) by 99.9%
- Reduces Particulates by 90%
Marine CNG not only supports the expansion of natural gas usage by land-based customers, but enhances the marine environment as well.
CNG Optimum ships will be equipped with dual fuel engines which run on natural gas from their own cargo. As a result, these ships will be among the cleanest running in the world. Reducing emissions from the shipping industry is a key focus for the International Maritime Organization, who as of January 1, 2020 will be enforcing strict regulations on marine fuels.