Høglund integrated automation and control picked for 6 new VLECs

Norwegian automation specialist Høglund Marine Solutions has signed six more contracts with Jiangnan Shipyard (Group) and Babcock LGE to supply integrated automation (IAS), cargo and fuel gas control systems (CCS and FGCS) for six very large ethane carrier (VLEC) newbuilds.

Courtesy of Høglund
Courtesy of Høglund

Three vessels will be owned by AW Shipping Limited, a joint venture shipping company established by Wanhua Chemical Group and Abu Dhabi National Petroleum Corporation, one by Hong Kong-headquartered Pacific Gas and two by Tianjin Southwest Maritime.

Previous joint projects supplied the same scope for four newbuilds in 2021 and 2022 – the world’s largest VLEC vessels.

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By utilizing Høglund’s fully integrated automation including power management system (PMS), cargo and fuel gas control based on one common hard- and software platform, the vessels will have enhanced operational efficiency, according to the company.

The fuel gas supply system as a component of the gas handling plant on board provides ethane from cargo to the main engine which runs on dual fuel (oil and ethanol). During voyage, a shaft generator provides power to all on-board systems enabling greater energy optimisation throughout the ship.

These projects fulfill rigorous specifications for fully integrated automation, incorporating a ship performance monitor to help support long-term performance optimisation, giving users on board and ashore easy access to the wealth of data generated by all systems.

As explained, combining advanced efficiency technology with the complex task of integrating automation and controls on gas newbuilds is a challenging engineering task and requires a solid automation paired with deep operational knowledge in all areas. These challenges can only be overcome with effective collaboration between yards, suppliers and marine solutions specialists on the design and installation of integrated systems.

“These VLECs are the largest of their kind and represent a new frontier in performance. As this repeat order shows, a new generation of vessels needs a new level of focus on integrated automation, and we’re glad that our partners recognise this,” Peter Morsbach, VP Sales at Høglund Marine Solutions, said.

“Høglund, Jiangnan and Babcock have demonstrated how important it is for suppliers to collaborate effectively to make a new generation of ships a reality. We are pleased to be working with them again and appreciate how the hard work and dedication of these partners has resulted in a high-performing, reliable and safe model of ship,” Wang Yu, Senior Electrical Supervisor at Pacific Gas, said.

The six ships will be delivered from February 2024 to February 2025.

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