|The Aurora Spirit, launched at Samsung Heavy Industry’s shipyard in South Korea, is the first of six new-generation e-shuttle tankers ordered by Altera Infrastructure, formerly Teekay Offshore, and developed in close collaboration with Wärtsilä.
What makes the Aurora Spirit revolutionary is its “flexible utilisation of different energy sources to achieve a very efficient design and operation,” says Egil Hystad, General Manager, Power Systems at Wärtsilä, who worked on the ship’s concept and development.
Of particular note is the ship’s utilisation of recovered volatile organic compounds (VOC), gases that normally evaporate during the loading and unloading of oil, as well as during sailing in turbulent seas.
Such gases are normally wasted, but the Aurora Spirit instead captures the VOC and mixes them with other fuel to power both the gas turbine and the main engine. The Aurora Spirit has the potential to capture 100 tonnes per trip, accounting for 30-40% of the total energy the ship requires.
Dual-fuel tanker runs on LNG and VOC
The result is a shuttle tanker that can run on liquefied natural gas (LNG) and VOC – and potentially other greener alternatives in different combinations, depending on the ship’s mission and the availability and cost of each fuel.
Eliminating VOC emissions from cargo is estimated to almost totally eliminate SOx and particulate emissions, as well as reduce NOx emissions from engines by up to 88%.
This system makes the Aurora Spirit more energy efficient and environmentally friendly and improves its operational abilities.
Battery packs offer flexible power distribution
The e-shuttle tanker also features battery packs for flexible power distribution and blackout prevention, which reduces bunkering requirements and overall carbon dioxide emissions by about 50 %.