Floating LNG power barges to provide greener energy to Greek islands

London-based design and engineering consultancy Houlder has teamed up with Athens-based integrated energy solutions provider Blue Sea Power on gas-to-power projects.

Blue Sea Power

Specifically, the companies are collaborating to develop three innovative floating LNG-to-power barges (FSRPs).

The FSRP barges, which are set to be operational by 2025, are expected to provide greener, lower emission baseload and peak power to the non-interconnected islands of Kos, Chios and Lesvos.

As explained, this power will be used when existing renewable solar and wind energy utilisation is at its technical limits. The barges will replace the outdated and inefficient existing diesel and heavy fuel oil power generation infrastructure, whilst meeting the EU Taxonomy and new Greek Climate legislation. 

Image: Blue Sea Power

In the current phase, Houlder will complete the barge designs to a level that will achieve approval in principle by the class society, Lloyd’s Register, and will support Blue Sea Power with the design package for securing suitable tenders from shipyards.

Prior to this, Houlder completed the key decision studies on the main power generation engine selection, a cargo containment system, design standardisation, GHG reduction & efficiency options, and CAPEX, as well as an environmental study – looking at elements such as the impact on seawater temperature and noise pollution.

According to Blue Sea Power, its barge solutions are Reconciliation Recovery Fund (RRF) eligible, where EU funding will cover a substantial part of the CAPEX for additional GHG reduction measures. As the projects are ESG compliant, the company said it has also leveraged green funding effectively, which it has secured from multiple banks and investors to finance the project.

In order to improve efficiency, technical solutions such as maximising waste heat recovery from the exhaust and using waste heat recovery from the engine’s cooling water system for freshwater generation for export will be included.

The barges will also maximise cold energy recovery from the LNG evaporation and use variable frequency drives to improve the efficiency of motors onboard.

The team expects to use a cryogenic carbon capture system (CCS) onboard the power barges. The engines used will be hydrogen production blend ready to further improve sustainability as the technology to enable this matures and there will be scope to factor and blend bio-LNG and renewable synthetic e-LNG into the supply chain to further reduce GHG emissions.

Jonathan Strachan, Houlder’s ship design and engineering director, said: “The Blue Sea Power team has been a pleasure to work with and we are looking forward to the outcomes of this interesting project. Floating LNG power barges are greener than traditional power generation infrastructure and, with novel integrated design and engineering developments, we can make energy production even more efficient and sustainable.”

Mark Graham, Blue Sea Power Director of Projects, added: “Whilst the FSRP integrated power barge is a solution that may appear novel in its approach, the power barge utilises proven tried and tested equipment to reduce associated design and construction risks. The FSRP near-shore solution along with its modular design and shipyard construction also presents many repeatability benefit opportunities on CAPEX, OPEX and construction schedule savings.”

Looking ahead, the partners believe there is also potential to develop many more barges and even scale up the projects to efficiently provide other Greek islands and EU locations with green energy.