Joining Forces for New Reliquefaction Training

-- FROM THE FULL PICTURE MAGAZINE -- Kongsberg Maritime and Hamworthy Gas Systems recently joined forces to provide a comprehensive training program in operating the new generation of reliquefaction systems.

Having developed a completely new LNG reliquefaction system, Hamworthy sought to renew their training offer. As a subvendor to the Hamworthy reliquefaction system, Kongsberg Maritime had developed hands-on operator courses by the use of simulation. The idea formed to join forces and create a common "reliq" course, combining theory with practice. As a result, the first joint reliquefaction training was held in the beginning of February this year, making the two companies the first in the world to offer a simulator process training course.

Responsible for customer support at Hamworthy, Hans Jakob Buvarp, emphasises the advantage of offering a joint training program. "Since reliquefaction has previously only been employed on land based products and is new to the maritime industry, providing an in-depth training program was important in order to secure crew qualifications. By combining Hamworthy's theoretical course with Kongsberg Maritime's hands on simulation training, we are able to offer a more operative and complete training package. What Kongsberg Maritime has to offer is very important to us and reflects our good cooperation. By drawing on each other's strengths we have developed a competitive training program ensuring safety of operations at all times" commented Mr. Buvarp.

Authentic scenarios in a safe environment

The week-long training program, offered both in Norway and Korea, consists of lectures by Hamworthy and simulation training by Kongsberg Maritime. The simulator allows users to practice scenarios in the training room, to better learn decision-making and what could potentially go wrong while operating the system. Together with Karstein Hammervold from Hamworthy, course instructor Rasmus Zachrisson from Kongsberg Maritime has been responsible for establishing a course outline.

"The joint program enables alternation between theory and practice without delay, making it possible to employ the lessons by Hamworthy on our simulator right away. Operating the system in a safe training environment before trying it out in real life is a great advantage to both employers and employees and a course certificate gives added assurance and confidence that the crew can actually use the product" commented instructor Rasmus Zachrisson.

Environmental and economic benefits

The LNG system developed by Hamworthy can be used in connection with LNG cargo containment systems. Until 2006, LNG carriers were mainly driven by steam turbines with boil-off gas from the LNG cargo used as fuel. This is a costly solution, and the market has been searching for improved solutions to which Hamworthy has now responded. Alternative propulsion systems offer considerably better fuel economy than steam turbines. Instead of using boil-off gas as fuel, the reliquefaction system liquefies the boil-off gas and returns the LNG back to the cargo tanks. This has economic benefits since there is an increasing quantity of cargo delivered and large savings to be made in the total fuel consumption. Considering the amount of ships being sent out to the market, the reduction in the emission of CO2 is quite substantial something which gives enormous environmental benefits.

First reliquefaction gas trial

Kongsberg Maritime runs the alarm, monitoring and control facilities of the LNG system by the use of K-Chief Automation system, giving ship's officers all the basic alarm and status information they require to maintain safe and efficient operation of the machinery and other related equipment. This is an important element in securing the reliquefaction process. Department manager for product training at Kongsberg Maritime, Mr. Ingar Tveiten comments: "Reliqefaction is a delicate process, and is completely dependent on a reliable automation system and a capable crew. As the first in the world to complete a successful reliquefaction gas trial last autumn, we can safely say that we have the relevant competence needed to conduct high quality reliquefaction training. We strive to be best within this field, but quality comes through cooperation. Together our two companies possess broad knowledge and expertise at the same time. By joining forces, both parties ensure a greater level of professionalism resulting in better and safer quality of operations".