160 separators for treating heavy fuel oil and lube oil on the triple-E class container vessels

Cutting shipping emissions

A.P. Møller – Mærsk A/S

The international shipping industry is under extreme pressure. Competition is fierce. The demands that shipping should be environmentally-friendly and should have minimum energy consumption are stated not only by the legislative authorities and a wide range of organisations; these demands also arise from within the system due to the need to reduce costs and efforts to achieve an environmentally compatible transport alternative. “Green Technology” is the order of the day, and this can be traced through all areas of modern shipbuilding.

The triple-E class is a new development of superlatives in many ways. Every vessel will be 400 meters long, 59 meters wide and 73 meters high, and can load 18,000 20-foot containers. The shipping company A.P. Møller-Mærsk intends to use the container vessels to establish a daily shuttle service between Asia and Europe to serve the rising demand for trade between the two continents most efficiently. With their draught of 14.5 meters, the vessels can already use numerous ports in Europe; however, in America, no port as yet is able to handle such a draught.

High energy efficiency and environmental friendliness

Centrifuge - Separator OSE

For building the triple-E class, the Korean DSME (Daewoo) shipyard which is responsible for carrying out the work has placed an order with GEA for a total of 160 separators of the new GEA eagleclass. They will be put into service on the 20 triple-E container vessels of the Mærsk Line, which will be launched between the end of 2013 and 2015. Mærsk is thus underlining the long-standing business relations with GEA. 

Triple-E stands for economy of scale, energy efficiency and environmentally improved. In detail, this means the following: the capacity of 18,000 TEU is 2500 containers or 16 percent greater than that of the previously largest container vessel Emma Mærsk. Fuel oil consumption is 35 percent lower than is the case in other container vessels which will also be delivered for the Asia-Europe route over the next few years. And the carbon emissions of triple-E are 20 percent lower than Emma Mærsk – compared with average Asia-Europe container vessels, carbon emissions are 50 percent lower. The triple-E class is equipped with a heat recovery system which recovers up to 10 percent of the engine energy. The savings correspond to the annual consumption of 5000 average European households. With one kilowatt hour per tonne of freight, the vessels cover 184 kilometers; the corresponding performance of a jumbo jet is just half a kilometer per tonne. For the new category of vessel, this is due to various factors, including a revolutionary drive system with the concept of reduced speed, which can be reduced to 8.5 knots.

Nevertheless, the new Asia-Europe route “Daily Mærsk” will set new standards in terms of punctuality and reliability. Instead of the previous weekly connections, vessels are expected to leave four ports in Asia every day for three ports in Northern Europe, and are expected to guarantee a fixed transport time of 26 to 34 days. This requires extremely reliable shipbuilding, in which heavy fuel oil and lube oil treatment also have an extremely important role to play. And the largest container shipping company in the world intends to transport its container freight much more cheaply with the new vessels. Thanks to the larger dimensions, Mærsk considers that the savings in terms of transport costs are 26 percent per container.

eagleclass separators reduce energy consumption by 30 percent

The eagleclass separators for heavy fuel oil and lube oil treatment fit into this concept extremely well. They contribute to the efficiency and environmental friendliness of the triple-E vessels with the up to 30 percent reduction in power consumption of the OSE type, the lower space requirement and the improved value for money. Thanks to unitrolplus, they are able to monitor and control the oil treatment process fully automatically. This new generation of sensors regulates the addition of a precise volume of displacement water for the final displacement of oil before the discharge process, resulting in a further minimization of oil losses and maximum separating efficiency, fewer discharge processes and lower sludge tank loads.

The reliability of separating efficiency even under extreme weather conditions is precisely the factor which meets the stringent requirements of the shipping company. This is because punctuality and guaranteed reliability are absolutely essential for the new daily Mærsk Asia-Europe route. Thanks to their higher performance with a further improvement in separating efficiency, the OSE types ensure that fewer separators on board are required, meaning that fewer spare parts have to be stored, less maintenance is necessary, and less space is required. With the possibility of using identical spare parts, the standardization of the OSE type series also contributes to a reduction in the number of parts which are put into storage. The eagleclass separators from GEA make a significant contribution towards ensuring that the new high-speed route between Asia and Europe will indeed function as planned. They will certainly not be the weakest link in the chain of extremely complex shipbuilding.

With the order for the 160 OSE units, including OSE 80, OSE 20, OSE 10 and OSE 5, A.P. Møller – Mærsk is not the only shipping company which relies on the technology of GEA. On the contrary, the top nine container vessel operators utilize the tried-and-tested technology for heavy fuel oil and lube oil treatment.