The tanker shipping industry has ushered in being eco- friendly to its league with the inception of its new crude oil concept vessel, Triality. Running on liquefied natural gas (LNG), the Triality is proposed to be environmentally superior to any conventional crude oil tanker and is also feasible financially in comparison to them. The unveiling of the concept of the tanker has fueled hope for the environment as well as investors and producers alike. In comparison to a traditional Very Large Crude Carrier (VLCC), the Trialty emits 34% less carbon dioxide, eliminates need for ballast water, venting of cargo vapours and also uses 25% less energy.
Developed by DNV innovation project, the Triality was a concept developed in 2010 that aims at cutting down environmentally hazardous emissions by tankers. The concept was presented by DNV CEO Henrik. O Madsen in its VLCC version who believes that gas will become the dominant fuel for merchant ships by 2020. These tankers running on LNG aim to reduce nitrogen emissions by 80% and that of sulphur and particulate matter by 95%. Consequently, the health of people who live close to shipping routes will also be up kept. Fuelled by LNG with marine gas oil as pilot fuel, this dual fuel generator tanker is capable of holding 13,500 m3 of LNG which will suffice an operation of 25, 000 nautical miles.
Overcoming the drawbacks of a conventional tanker which requires ballast water for operation, the Triality with its V- shaped hull and cargo tank setting eliminate the need for ballast water. Compared to a traditional VLCC that carries 80,000 – 1,00,000 tons of sea water containing eco- damaging organisms, the Triality VLCC is proposed to collect and liquefy 500 tons of cargo vapors in one round. This conserved vapor can then be used as fuel for boilers or returned to shore. This also eliminates the wastage of fuel in these areas thereby making the tanker more energy efficient.
This eco- friendly tanker is touted to be a good investment as well. Henrik O. Madsen believes that it is possible to design a ship that is environment friendly as well as profitable. “Our best estimate is an additional capital expenditure of 10-15% for a Triality VLCC new- building compared to a traditional VLCC. Even with this extra cost included, we estimate a reduced life cycle cost equal to 25% of the new- building cost for a traditional VLCC,” he says.
With a concept that is designed based on known components and systems, DNV believe that the Triality will have created enough of an interest for the first of it to leave a shipyard by the end of 2014. While the present Triality concept makes use of the dual fuel slow speed engines, the next phase of the concept development intends to analyze the use of dual fuel medium engines and those of pure gas engines.