When fuelling a ferry is both fast and environmentally friendly

imag eof KC LNG bunkringer solution for The Samsoe Ferry
imag eof KC LNG bunkringer solution for The Samsoe Ferry

The Samsoe ferry

The customer's challenge
The ferry needed a new fuel solution to live up to international regulations of air emissions for the shipping industry and reach the island of Samsoe's goal of being totally environmentally friendly

Our solution
We created an efficient and fast LNG bunkering solution that is easy to operate - and move to the island when the locally produced biogas is available

The outcome
The Samsoe ferry now runs on liquefied natural gas, LNG, and the bunkering solution has three major advantages: the fast refuelling time, the low number of operators and the absent emissions

The Danish Samsoe ferry is a true connector. It connects the island of Samsoe and its 3,700 inhabitants to the Danish mainland by sailing back and forth several times a day. And it proves how the shipping industry can connect with a future where international legislation dictates lower emissions of CO2 and other greenhouse gases.

The first type of connection makes passengers, and islanders in particular, clap their hands, while the second gains applause from both shipowners and the environment. But what paved the way to all this cheering? A bunkering solution from KC LNG was a major step on the way.

With a turnkey solution from KC LNG, the Samsoe ferry now runs on liquefied natural gas, also known as LNG. And it has been doing so since 2015. The new solution has several major advantages, and the top 3 concerns the fast refuelling time, the low number of operators and the absent emissions.

Fast refueling is the way forward

Previously, LNG bunkering had a tendency to be a complicated and complex activity. But luckily, such trouble is no longer necessary. The solution that KC LNG developed for the Samsoe ferry makes it just as easy to fuel the ferry with LNG as it is to fill your car with petrol at the local filling station.

It takes less than 15 minutes to fuel the Samsoe ferry, named Princess Isabella after one of the youngest members of the Danish royal family. And that is exactly the time that is available when the ferry docks at the mainland. In less than a quarter of an hour, new passengers will be ready on board, and the ferry will have enough fuel to be up and running for an entire day.

"That's very efficient and very fast. Everything we do about the natural gas is part of our daily operations." Carsten Kruse, Managing Director at the Samsoe ferry

It only takes one operator – and an intelligent technology

The bunkering solution for the Samsoe ferry is very easy to operate. It only takes one single operator to handle it, and there is consequently no need for extra personnel on shore. The intelligent technology makes sure that everything is ready-set-go in time.

About an hour before the ferry arrives at the port, it automatically sends a signal to the control system at the port. It then starts to pre-cool the pump so it is ready to bunker as soon as the ferry docks. Once Princess Isabella arrives and the ship operator goes ashore, he/she only needs to connect the coupling - and LNG is then filled into the tank. That must be the essence of quick, simple and efficient operations.

Zero-emission is a token of responsibility

Since 1 January 2015, international regulations of air emissions for the shipping industry have forced shipowners to rethink fuel solutions to lower sulphur emissions. Traditional marine fuel does not meet the new requirements, and LNG is an attractive alternative. And that is exactly why Samsoe chose that solution.

With Princess Isabella, the ferry connection waved goodbye to harmful emissions in 2015. As she runs on LNG, the fuel only emits a minimum of CO2, SOx and NOx. Moreover, the bunkering solution itself was designed to completely avoid the methane emissions that are oftentimes an unfortunate side effect when you transfer LNG from one tank to another. Instead of using nitrogen to purge the hoses free from gas after bunkering, all the remaining LNG is led back into the tank onshore. In other words, both the fuel and features underline and strengthen the island's responsible approach to the environment.

Fit for the future

The island of Samsoe has a goal of being totally environmentally friendly. And one day, when the locally produced biogas is available, they want to bunker Princess Isabella from the island instead of the mainland.

To enable that dream coming true, the bunkering solution from KC LNG needed to be very flexible. Simply, the customer wanted the facility to be movable – and so it is.

"It is designed to be lifted off with a crane and then placed on Samsoe, so we can use locally produced gas instead of using gas from an external supplier", Carsten Kruse elaborates.

And such flexibility is key whenever KC LNG develops a bunkering solution. It must always match the customer's needs, situation and wishes – regarding location, scope and or something completely different.