LNT Marine has developed a simplified, flexible and efficient cargo containment system for LNG, enabling more shipyards to build carriers at reasonable cost.
Liquified natural gas (LNG) is emerging as the most viable lower-carbon alternative to diesel fuel. An LNG carrier fleet much larger than today’s will soon be required to maintain supply.
However, these vessels have traditionally been built by only a tiny elite of shipyards. These have relied on comparatively few and complex containment technologies, which dominate the market. This has created limited competition in this field, with high barriers to entry and high costs for the shipbuilders – and ultimately the owners and charterers.
The LNT A-BOX® is a simple and efficient cargo containment system. Its prismatic shape maximises use of the vessel’s holds, ensuring a flat deck without losing cargo capacity. Structure within the tanks prevent sloshing. The system uses IMO Type-A tanks, which are the simplest configuration according to the IGC code. The tanks are self-supporting with a robust primary barrier, and can even be constructed outside the shipyard.
Moreover, insulation is bolted to the inner hull of the ship, instead of onto the tank shell. The resulting gap enables access for regular inspections or maintenance of the insulation layer as well as of the cargo tank shell.
The system is intended to open up the LNG carrier market to new yards and even new shipping players. Bringing down construction costs, it will facilitate a shift to a lower-carbon, lower-sulphur fuel.
Easy and cost-efficient to build, the LNT A-BOX® comprises a robust stainless or 9 per cent nickel steel primary barrier, without loading limitations. A gap between primary and secondary barriers makes them independent and accessible for survey and maintenance.
Moreover, the LNT A-BOX offers excellent volume utilisation and thermal insulation performance, extensive flexibility in tank shape and hull design, and simplified construction in – or even outside of – shipyards.
On a larger scale, the system will enable local and regional distribution of LNG to reach emerging markets, which lack infrastructure for traditional large-scale LNG carriers.
Global energy demand is expected to rise by 18 per cent by 2035, mainly due to population growth and increase in per capita income. The world needs an economically viable energy source with limited environmental impact to meet this demand.
Natural gas is the cleanest fossil fuel and an important “bridging fuel” in the transition to low-carbon energy. LNG is the fastest growing gas source, with 37 million metric tons of new capacity added in 2018. Another 35 million metric tons of additional LNG supply is projected for 2019.
LNT Marine was formed following a merger between LNG New Technologies and MGI Thermo in 2017. The company is working to grow the market share of the LNT A-BOX containment system, as well as to develop the emerging mid-size LNG segment.
7. Affordable and clean energy
LNT A-BOX® will enable a more diverse and flexible fleet of smaller LNG carriers to support sustainable growth of the cleanest fossil fuel and staple of hydrogen production, natural gas.
9. Industry, innovation and infrastructure
LNT A-BOX® will enable more shipyards to build an efficient fleet of mid-size LNG carriers.
11. Sustainable cities and communities
LNT A-BOX® will enable import of LNG to emerging markets where natural gas can replace coal for power generation, thereby contributing to improving air quality and reducing greenhouse gas emissions.