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Framo wins breakthrough contract for LR2 product tanker series

Mon 26 Feb 2018

Framo wins breakthrough contract for LR2 product tanker series
The Framo submerged pump design (left) offers a simpler, less cluttered cargo tank arrangement

A significant recent contract shows larger tanker types can also benefit from Framo’s in-tank pump technology.

Bergen-based pump manufacturer Framo has achieved a breakthrough contract to supply a submerged cargo pumping system to a series of 10 115,000 dwt LR2 type product tankers being built in China for one of the world’s leading operators, Maersk Tankers.

The contract calls for Framo to supply each vessel with 12 cargo pumps, two slop pumps, two submerged ballast pumps and 12 deck mounted cargo heaters.

The decision by Maersk Tankers to opt for the Framo submerged pump system represents a major advance in the larger tanker sector for the Norwegian company, which has achieved considerable success in supplying smaller chemical and product tankers. Most large product tankers today have a conventional pumproom arrangement. However, Framo believes this recent contract reflects growing recognition within the tanker industry that the advantages of the submerged in-tank pump arrangement can also apply to product tankers of this size.

According to Thomas Eide, area manager, marine pumping systems, “Using the Framo concept on these coated LR2 product tankers will deliver a number of benefits to the owner. The improved cargo handling performance will mean quicker turnaround times in ports, allowing the ships to transport more tonne-miles of cargo every year and make fewer voyages in ballast. The ships will also be able to more efficiently alternate between different grades of petroleum products – as well as between dirty and clean cargoes – which in turn will increase the ships’ availability to take on new cargoes in triangular trades, instead of having to sail on long ballast voyages, generating substantial additional income.”

Framo also believes there will be significant gains in terms of fuel economy, with 70% less fuel required for each discharge compared with the conventional pumproom arrangement. This equates, the company contends, to a saving of more than 40 tonnes of fuel for each discharge operation, saving up to 800 tonnes of fuel a year, depending on the number of discharges made. There will also be environmental benefits due to the reduction in fuel consumption, with lower emissions in port.

For this new series of LR2 tankers, the first of which are due for delivery in 2019, all the cargo pumps will be submerged inside the tanks, and the ballast pumps located inside the double-sided ballast tank. This has allowed the ship’s designers to dispense with the need for a pumproom, creating over 1000 m3 of extra cargo space, boosting capacity by around 1.5% compared with a conventional arrangement.

The Framo cargo pumps feature a built-in stripping system, so there is no need for separate stripping arrangements. Furthermore, the amount of cargo piping and valves will be reduced by around 60% compared to what would have been required for a conventional pumproom system.

As there will be no cargo pipes penetrating the bulkheads, and all pipes and valves will be on deck, a much simpler, and less cluttered tank arrangement is permitted. With just one cargo pump per tank, the flush tank top will be easier to clean and to drain, Framo suggests. By installing cargo heaters on deck, the use of heating coils inside the tank can also be dispensed with, again helping to facilitate more efficient tank cleaning.

Eide concludes, “The system we are delivering for these new generation LR2 tankers will offer improved vessel utilisation, increased cargo volumes, better fuel economy, improved safety and environmental performance and the benefits of an easy to clean segregated system with a reduced risk of cargo contamination. Applying the same core principles for which we are well known, from supplying MR and LR1 type tankers, will bring big benefits to the LR2 product tanker sector also.”

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