ABS, Vaholmen to work on VOC recovery vessel capable of capturing emissions

Classification society ABS and Norwegian company Vaholmen VOC Recovery have signed a letter of intent (LoI)  for the development of a volatile organic compounds (VOC) recovery vessel to capture emissions released during the loading of crude oil cargoes. 


As informed, the ship (the Vaholmen unit) is being developed in close cooperation with Finnish tech company Wärtsilä Gas Solutions and Norwegian Ulstein Design Solutions.

Vapor from oil cargos releases millions of tons of CO2 equivalents, through the release of VOC, into the atmosphere. Between 60-80 percent of these emissions are generated during loading of crude oil cargoes.

According to the company, the Vaholmen unit will operate on dynamic positioning (DP2) close to the loading tanker for capturing and processing the VOC generated on the tanker through a hose connected to the tanker’s vapor return manifold.

The output from the process, the liquefied VOC (LVOC), can be monetized through injection into a stream of relevant hydrocarbons such as crude oil, as feedstock for powerplants, refineries or other use, as well as providing fuel for electrical power production on the Vaholmen unit.

Work is also ongoing within the industry to make use of the LVOC as an alternative green fuel for ships capable of running on LPG

The patented Vaholmen concept can be based on the newbuild vessel of Ulstein SX219 design or retrofit of a vessel suitable for the purpose, typically a large PSV.

“The Vaholmen units will serve an important need in reducing emissions as the industry works to meet decarbonization and sustainability goals. This LOI is a key milestone on the road to delivering the first of these vessels which have significant potential to contribute to creating a more sustainable shipping industry,” said Egil Legland, ABS Manager, Norway Business Development.

“Additionally, as pollution is resources gone astray, the combination of two proven technologies into a new and innovative patented concept allows capturing and utilization in a profitable way of values that otherwise are lost,” Arve Andersson, CEO Vaholmen VOC Recovery, added.

Vaholmen’s aim is to contribute to de-carbonization of shipping through reducing emissions to the atmosphere on a low to negative cost basis through the client monetizing on the hydrocarbons captured and processed.