Finland-based technology group Wärtsilä, and GTT, the designer of cryogenic membrane containment solutions for liquefied gases, have finalized today a cooperation agreement at the Marintec conference and exhibition in Shanghai, China.
The aim of the cooperation is to explore potential business opportunities in the marine sector in relation to LNG storage, fuel gas supply systems, and associated services that will benefit both shipyards and vessel owners, the duo informed.
The partners plan to avail of their experience and know-how in LNG fuel gas applications, as well as gas carrier process and development of cryogenic membrane containment solutions.
“By collaborating in the delivery of jointly agreed projects, the two companies will be able to propose solutions that optimise onboard LNG fuel gas storage and operations. Within this cooperation agreement, specific attention will be given to medium to large-size segments and configurations where space optimization is key,” the companies said in a joint release.
The collaboration is expected to provide shipyards with a ready-made solution, meeting new market requirements.
Since the mechanical and process system interfacing between the LNG fuel storage tank and the engines is designed within a single unified system philosophy, project risk will be reduced, Wärtsilä explained. In addition, procurement cost reduction and time savings would be achieved through having access to one-stop-shopping.
As informed, Wärtsilä and GTT plan also to provide ship owners and operators with smart marine solutions.
These will allow the exchange of onboard system data, thereby enabling remote support optimisation and assistance for the LNG fuel gas supply system, Wärtsilä added.
“Membrane type LNG fuel tanks guarantee volume optimization, thus allowing for more fuel space on board the vessel or improved autonomy between bunker operations,” the company further noted.
“This cooperation agreement is part of Wärtsilä Gas Solution’s strategy of ‘forming the future of gas’, aimed at making a solid contribution to increased sustainability and greater operational efficiency for gas-fuelled vessels,” Timo Koponen, Vice President, Flow & Gas Solutions, Wärtsilä Marine Solutionscommented.
” The industry at large has to find means to speed-up the deployment of LNG-as-a-fuel solutions,” according to Philippe Berterottière, Chairman and CEO of GTT.
Separately, the Finnish engine producer said that it has signed a EUR 125 million (USD 148.2 million) loan with the European Investment Bank (EIB )to support the research and development of more environmentally friendly and efficient ship engines and power plants.
This is the fifth loan from EIB provided to support Wärtsilä’s Research, Development and Innovation (RDI) since the first loan was signed in 2003.
The RDI project supported by the EIB loan will cover the period of 2017 to 2019 and focus on four-stroke (medium speed) engines for marine and power plant applications. Wärtsilä said that the new RDI program will also provide opportunities to these institutions to carry out applied research and serve as a basis for training and recruitment of young engineers.
“EIB’s long-term funding is and has been one of the key enablers for Wärtsilä’s constant focus on research and development,” says Marco Wiren, Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer.