Photo: Illustration only; Courtesy of Titan LNG

Titan LNG develops Hyperion tank concepts for bunker barges

Dutch independent LNG supplier Titan LNG has developed the ‘Hyperion’ series of tank concepts for Inland Waterway (IWW) bunker barges.

Titan LNG develops Hyperion tank concepts for bunker barges
Illustration only; Courtesy of Titan LNG

Titan LNG reported via social media it has developed a new tank concept for future IWW bunker barges. As a result, the ‘Hyperion’ series currently features both seagoing and inland design versions.

As part of its current fleet, Titan LNG operates the LNG bunker barges FlexFueler 001 and 002. The company developed this one-of-a-kind FlexFueler concept in-house. It represents the first generation of LNG bunker assets tailor-made for the Antwerp-Rotterdam-Amsterdam area.

Through the development and operation of these barges, Titan LNG has gained experience with the European Inland Waterway (IWW) regulations; specifically their impact on LNG storage and handling systems. 

Market growth and the higher tank capacity of the LNG-fueled ships are leading to more and larger IWW-dedicated bunker barges. However, scaling up to meet the market requirements is difficult because of a European rule for the carriage of dangerous goods. Specifically, a tank capacity limit of 1,000 cubic metres per tank onboard bunkering barges. This leads to a multiple of 1,000 cubic metres cylindrical tanks. This rule is a challenge when scaling up LNGCs as it tends to lead to designs with many small tanks.

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Characteristic of Titan LNG Hyperion

Titan LNG said it devised a way to meet this safety criterion. It did it by introducing the principle of multiple 1000 cubic metres internal tank partitions into a single tank structure. The main benefit is that more fuel can fit into a single tank structure. As a result, the tanks take up less space, thus reducing the total footprint while maintaining the cargo capacity.

The company patented this solution, as well as technically validated it for one of the more challenging types of pressure vessel; a bilobe tank.

Tank images courtesy of HB Hunte

The design impact was investigated within Titan LNG’s Hyperion IWW bunker vessel design series. At a total capacity of 8,000 cubic metres, the vessel’s length and breadth reduce by 10-20 per cent, compared to the individual tank approach. Fuel consumption, steel weight, outfitting costs and overall environmental impact of constructing and operating the vessel were reduced by similar percentages.

Titan LNG cooperated with HB Hunte Engineering. The company proved the structural feasibility of the tank concept.

HB Hunte Engineering is also working with Titan LNG’s on the 4,500 cubic metres bunker vessel design “Krios”.

Fleet development director Douwe de Jong said: “As more LNG and LBM fueled vessels are built, innovations like this will become increasingly important to efficiently meet demand and effectively scale up supply infrastructure. By investing in the in-house development of its fleet, Titan LNG has managed to introduce the economies of scale associated with large LNG tanks found in seagoing vessels into IWW gas carrier vessel design.“