Høglund Lands Automation Contracts in LNG and Chemical Tanker Sectors

Published Apr 26, 2017
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Bernhard Schulte - LNG bunkering vessel
Rendering of Bernhard Schulte’s LNG bunkering vessel to be produced in partnership with Høglund Marine Automation (illustration: Bernhard Schulte)

Høglund Marine Automation, the global marine automation expert, has announced two new contracts that showcase the increasing value the shipping industry is placing on dedicated automation partnerships. Bringing its expertise to bear on new segments and new challenges, Høglund has secured contracts to supply automation systems for an LNG bunker vessel operated by Bernhard Schulte, and two chemical tankers for Sirius Shipping.

Both projects require Høglund to work in partnership with its customers, shipyards and naval architects to devise new solutions to address complex automation challenges. Bernhard Schulte’s LNG bunkering vessel, which will be built at Hyundai Mipo Dockyard, is one of only a few of its kind so far. This places unique requirements on the automation systems Høglund will provide, which include the vessel’s power management system, and additional systems that manage interactions between the ship machinery systems, and the cargo plant. While LNG carriers have been in service for many years, and use boil-off gas to burn in their engines, bunkering barges must extract vapour from receiving ships to use as fuel. This requires additional interfaces between the gas plant and the rest of the ship, drastically increasing the complexity of the automation.

Høglund is leading the way in this relatively new segment. Of a small number of LNG bunkering vessels that currently exist, Høglund automation solutions are present on three of them, including Shell’s specialised LNG bunkering vessel now being built at STX in Korea, and the Seagas, a bunkering vessel owned by AGA and operated by Sirius, that has completed around 1200 bunkering operations successfully.

Similarly, Sirius Shipping’s chemical tankers, to be built at the AVIC Ding Heng yards in China, will use integrated automation systems developed by Høglund. The integration will for instance link the power management systems to the cargo system. While the two systems are usually separate, integrating the two means that offloading operations will be more efficient, and require fewer generators to operate.

Høglund’s automation experts will deliver both contracts, with an emphasis on innovation, high quality customer service and collaboration.

Børge Nogva, CEO of Høglund Marine Automation says, “When creating automation solutions for an entirely new vessel sub-segment within LNG, it’s hard to predict and foresee what challenges might emerge, which means you can’t just use an off the shelf solution. By playing a consultative role throughout the design and build stages, and supporting vessels 24/7 once they begin operation, automation suppliers can deliver significant benefits in terms of reliability and efficiency, as these projects demonstrate.”

Jeroen Deelen, Gas Tanker Director, at Bernhard Schulte says, “In a challenging shipbuilding market, automation suppliers need to compete on more than just cost. It comes down to the lifecycle support that suppliers offer to owners – the commitment from a maker that they will support you when it gets difficult. It’s clear that Høglund believes in LNG – the company has made a strategic decision to work with us and develop a product that is good for the industry, and we believe that this is a smart choice.”

“Automation is becoming an increasingly business-critical factor,” adds Anders Bejre, Project Manager for AVIC Newbuildings at Sirius Shipping. “Høglund is leading the way in raising the profile of this often-overlooked factor at the design stage.”

In addition to the automation systems on board, Høglund also supports automation systems with remote access, allowing its engineers to resolve automation issues remotely, saving money and time that would otherwise be spent on sending engineers to vessels to upgrade software.

Tags: Bernhard Schulte, Høglund Marine Automation


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