20 Nov 2010
Highly efficient, environmentally sound and much safer than earlier ships, a new generation of tankers is being developed, built and is coming into service. Tanker operators recognise that their ships have the potential to pollute, in a world that is
increasingly intolerant to any form of pollution,
and thus have to incorporate all manner of precautions to prevent cargo
or fuel getting into the sea. They are also anxious to minimise their
effect upon the environment, by minimising all forms of harmful
emissions, whether in the form of exhaust or cargo fumes, or ballast
which might include harmful organisms.
The new generation of tankers will have double hulls, but importantly, will not carry fuel or any other type of pollutant in the double bottom or tanks adjacent to the side of the ship. There have been accidents caused fuel oil in double bottom or engine room tanks close to the side have been pierced- new ships will have this fuel remote from these more vulnerable parts. Owners have become concerned with the vulnerability of a disabled ship, should the engine break down, and some new ships are entering service with completely duplicated systems, so that if one engine is disabled, there will be ample power available from the other machinery space.
The reduction of the environmental footprint of the new generation tanker has been a priority for its designers, and great efforts will have been made to either scrub exhaust gases to remove harmful components, or to mitigate their emission through the use of better fuels. Modern machinery is streets ahead of its predecessor in terms of efficiency and less fuel will be consumed. Steaming speeds may be rather lower than earlier ships, which also has a dramatic effect upon the fuel consumption and the quantity of harmful emissions such as sulphur, nitrous oxides and CO2. Cargo systems will ensure that the volatile organic compounds which once would have been vented into the atmosphere as cargo was handled,, will be safely re-injected into the tanks.
Below the waterline, the new generation tanker will be different from its predecessors. Hydrodynamic research and careful tank testing will have ensured that the hulls of these new ships are more “sea kindly”, making them less prone to bad weather delays, with high technology coatings preventing marine growth from adhering to the hull and slowing the ship down. A lot of thought and research will have gone into the stern of the vessel, in ensuring that waterflow around the propeller is smooth, and that the screws themselves are clean and polished, and extracting every ounce of “push” to move the ship along. Tanker owners see themselves in the lead with their new generation of craft.
Source: BIMCO Seascapes