MS Bit Viking was converted from a heavy fuel oil driven vessel to a gas driven version. The ship has been using Liquified Natural Gas (LNG) as fuel when sailing along the Norwegian coast.
After two years in operation the ship owner concluded a considerable reduction of emissions in addition to the reduction in direct fuel costs. The conclusion confirms that the decision to convert the vessel to run on LNG and thereby create one of the world's cleanest vessels has paid off.
The ship owner Tarbit Shipping AB started the conversion of the Bit Viking based on an initiative from their Norwegian customer, Statoil. The thought of operating a large tank ship on LNG were epoch-making. The co-operating parties in the conversion project were Statoil, engine and equipment supplier Wärtsilä and the LNG producer and distributor Skangas. Two months was the time used to convert the tanker from being diesel driven to environmentally friendly gas driven.
"The conversion of the Bit Viking had hardly been possible without the support from the NOx Fund", emphasizes the Technical Manager in Tarbit Shipping, Anders Hermansson. "However, as for new builds of LNG driven vessels it might already at this point be profitable without any economical support" he continues.
"The first year we reduced the NOx emissions by 535 tons. This is the largest NOx reduction obtained by one single vessel. We are very pleased by being able to contribute to such a large reduction", emphasizes Hermansson.
In Bit Viking the ship owner chose a solution with dual fuel engines, a fuel system optimized for gas using diesel as pilot fuel. After two years in operation the total diesel consumption is much less than expected.
"The total energy consumption is 10 percent lower than expected. Taking into consideration our expectations of a higher efficiency when converting to gas – this is very positive numbers. It exceeds all our expectations to the operational efficiency", informs Hermansson. "With documented lower operational costs together with the environmental benefits we are confident to recommend the solution to other ship owners", he concludes.