Laura Maersk deploys new methanol supply system

Danish engineering company Eltronic FuelTech has launched its low-flashpoint fuel supply system (LFSS) for Laura Maersk. The company said it is the first in the industry to offer equipment for supplying fuel from tanks to engines on methanol-powered ships.

The LFSS means the industry can have an integrated fuel supply system from the fuel tank to the engine comprising a single supply system and fuel valve train which improves safety, cuts costs and saves energy.

“Embracing green methanol as a fuel has been increasing markedly in recent years, and with the new LFSS system, we can make a significant contribution to the green transition of the shipping industry. In the past, several suppliers were required to put together a complete fuel supply system all the way from the fuel tank to the engine, but supplying the entire system brings multiple benefits,” said Eltronic FuelTech’s Louise Andreasen.

The company said there are savings associated with the logistics, as the same container can be used for spare parts for the entire system, and fewer repair technicians will be required.

“It’s a huge advantage for customers that it’s now available as a combined package so they no longer have to maintain the interfaces between two different systems. At the same time, when we deliver a combined solution, we can guarantee the safety of the entire system,” said Ms Andreasen.

While most other supply systems on the market use two pumps to pump the methanol around, Eltronic FuelTech has created an LFSS with only one pump, saving considerable energy. In addition, it is now possible to adjust the pump depending on the engine load, so the right amount of methanol is supplied to the engine, something which has not been possible until now.

“This means if a ship is sailing slowly, the pump automatically adjusts to the load, so it only runs at 60% of full power. With other systems, unnecessarily large quantities of methanol are pumped around the system, which affects electricity consumption, especially on large ships,” said Ms Andreasen.

“With the biggest engines on container ships, the pumps usually use more than 100,000 kWh a year pumping the methanol from the fuel tanks to the engine. With our new supply system, we expect to be able to cut consumption by up to 40%.”

In addition to developing systems for a ship’s main engines, Eltronic FuelTech has also developed a compact combined system to supply the ship’s auxiliary engines with fuel from the tanks.