The E-Shuttle Tanker: Groundbreaking environmental performance

Shuttle Tankers

When we embarked on a fleet renewal program back in 2016, we saw the opportunity to build vessels that can maintain their relevance throughout their 20+ year lifespan. The technological advances seen today are progressing at a rate many times faster than what we have seen n the past. In order to safeguard the substantial investments newbuild shuttle tankers represent, we decided to turn every stone in coming up with the most future-proof design available at that time.

  • Annual CO2 emissions reduced by 47%
  • Annual NOx emissions reduced by more than 80%
  • Annual SOx emissions reduced by more than 95%
  • Annual fuel consumption reduced by 22%

Shuttle tankers are highly sophisticated specialized vessels transporting crude oil from oil fields which are not connected to land via pipelines. They have state of the art bow loading systems and dynamic positioning (IMO DP 2 type) allowing for safe and efficient loading of the vessel offshore in harsh environment. The cargo is then transported and offloaded to terminals.

The innovative E-shuttle design is what we call a revolution rather than the conventional design evolution we have seen in recent history. It provided us with the opportunity to deliver the most environmentally friendly shuttle tankers ever built to market. We are excited to set new standards for both fuel consumption and emissions for our industry, thereby significantly reducing the impact of our operations on the environment.
Christian Fjell, Sustainability Manager

The design of the vessel, combined with technological advances will enable us to achieve groundbreaking environmental performance in the following three areas:

  • Fuel optimized design. The vessel has a varied operational profile and short transit legs. Combining this with the technologically advanced electric propulsion systems, a gas-electric propulsion system was selected. This allows for better year-on-year fuel optimized design, rather than the conventional optimization around a specific laden transit contract speed. The electric propulsion system reduces the required total mechanical installed power by 14%, increasing the overall fuel performance compared to traditional power distribution concepts.
  • LNG as fuel. LNG has an inherent CO2 reduction “Well to Wake” (WTW) of approximately 15% compared to MGO. As LNG infrastructure is ever expanding, we see that security of supply is no longer an issue, and the logistics cost is coming down. Also, the price trend due to the decoupling of gas and oil price is an indicator of LNG becoming an increasingly attractive fuel. Furthermore, having the ability of utilizing LNG onboard allows for future use of Biogas and Synthetic Methane when these fuels becomes available.
  • Turning emissions into fuel. Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs) are produced in a gaseous state from evaporation occurring in the oil cargo tanks. On average 100 tons of VOC is emitted per offshore loading. However, by installing VOC Condensation plants onboard, these VOCs can be captured and liquified. The liquified VOC is essentially a propane mix, and this can further be mixed with LNG as fuel for the engines. This enables our new shuttle tankers to travel on their own waste gas rather than releasing it into the atmosphere. This will reduce both emissions and bunkering requirements considerably.