Innovative LNG bunkering system launched in the port of Valencia
Baleària shipping company has launched a high-efficiency natural gas supply in the port of Valencia, thanks to the Multi Truck to Ship (MTTS) system, in which several trucks operate simultaneously to supply fuel to the ship. Following the successful completion of the test with this system, the shipping company will use this new method daily, after the approval of the Port Authority of Valencia, which guarantees the complete operation of ships running on LNG in that port.
The MTTS system enables several tank trucks to simultaneously supply the chilled fuel to vessels. For this, the shipping company uses a collector manufactured by Kosan Crinsplant, which was optimized for this specific operation by the engineering company Cotenaval, as well as tank trucks of the logistics company ESK. During the test, natural gas was supplied to Baleària’s Hypatia de Alejandría, which currently covers the route between Valencia, Ibiza and Palma. The transfer speed with this system ranges between 80 and 120 m3/h, depending on the pumping characteristics of the tanks used.
Thus, in the bunkering carried out on December 29, two simultaneous tank trucks were used, with a transfer rate of 95m3/hour, which allowed them to be unloaded in 55 minutes. Cotenaval, together with Baleària’s staff, coordinated both the operation, which allows the natural gas load to be combined with other simultaneous passenger, vehicle and merchandise boarding operations, and its risk study.
The simultaneous supply of several tank trucks to ship is faster than the usual method, known as Truck To Ship (TTS), in which it can only supply a single tank and usually reaches a discharge speed between 30 and 50m3/h; a logistical difficulty that adds to the limited times vessels spend in the port and that the MTTS method allows to correct. It should be noted that Baleària carried out in November, in the port of Huelva, the first MTTS LNG bunkering in Spain.
The Hypatia de Alejandría ferry, which is 186 meters long and can navigate 24 knots, has two LNG storage tanks with a volume of 330 m3. Incorporated in January 2019, it was the first Baleària ship to sail with LNG.