Awilco completes sea trial of LNG carrier Wilpride
The second of the first two liquefied natural gas carriers to be ordered by Norwegian LNG transportation provider Awilco LNG has been delivered on time and on budget after concluding a successful sea trial.
The Wilpride, like its identical sister the Wilforce, was built by Daewoo Shipbuilding & Marine Engineering (DSME) at its shipyard near Busan, South Korea. Both are tri-fuel diesel electric ships incorporating induction-based electric propulsion motor technology from GE’s Power Conversion business. The Wilpride was handed over in late November, two months after the Wilforce completed a similarly incident-free sea trial.
For both vessels, GE supplied a complete system comprising of two 12.5 MVA and two 6.2 MVA generators, main and cargo switchboards, four transformers, two converters, two 11.5-megawatt motors and remote control. GE provided its expert project management, system and equipment engineering, commissioning and assistance for sea and gas trials.
Awilco LNG now has five LNG carriers in its fleet; its first three are all steam powered. Its mission statement reads “Marine Transportation through Safety and Environmental Excellence,” and the company has adopted a very tough policy on emissions as well as on spills. It also has zero tolerance for machinery breakdowns caused by inferior maintenance procedures. GE’s electrical propulsion technology is one of the cleanest technologies for sea-going vessels and also is characterized by very high reliability. GE Power Conversion furthermore provides extensive training for personnel operating its equipment.
GE’s induction-based propulsion motor technology has one of lowest maintenance costs compared to alternative solutions, and has one of longest service life and offers higher environmental benefits. Its combination of high-power pulse width modulation technology based on insulated gate bipolar transistors, together with robustly simple induction motor technology, provides ship owners with important operating advantages over the lifetime of a vessel.
When Awilco took delivery of the Wilforce in September, its Chief Executive Officer Jon Skule Storheill said, “We are very pleased to take delivery of the vessel, which is built to the highest standard and latest eco-friendly technology that we are looking forward to presenting to the market.”
DSME is a strong advocate of GE’s power and propulsion technology. In recent months, the two companies have partnered on no fewer than 14 LNG carrier projects, four of which have recently been completed (two for Awilco and two for Maran Gas). The majority of the remaining 10 carriers will be delivered during 2014.
DSME has congratulated GE on the success of the two Awilco projects. A spokesman for DSME says there were numerous issues to confront during the design and construction stage. “Thanks to your affirmative and dedicated effort, we could deliver both vessels to the owner excellently and satisfying the owner’s expectations,” he said. “Especially electric propulsion system performance and capability during the sea trial and gas trial was perfect.”
According to Paul English, marine business leader for GE’s Power Conversion business, working with Awilco for the first time on the two new LNG carriers proved to be a very positive experience. “Awilco has chosen electric power for the first time, but the company’s engineers were at the top of their game and very enthusiastic about our technology,” he said. “It was very stimulating working with them, and we enjoyed answering all their very astute questions.”
English added, “The high level of cooperation between GE, DSME and Awilco played a key part in successfully completing the Wilpride project on time and on budget. Everything was very well executed, and it all went very smoothly. It was a great performance by all concerned. GE has the standard offering in power and propulsion for LNG carriers. But we also have the flexibility to fine tune systems to specific customer requirements.”
Press Release, July 2, 2014