Bestobell Marine has seen a major rise in demand for its cryogenic valves from the marine sector in the US, as shipbuilders and owners increasingly opt for fuel efficient LNG power.

The UK-based manufacturer of cryogenic valves attributes the trend largely to new Emissions Control Areas (ECA) which are increasing the number of dual-fuel vessels being commissioned that require cryogenic valves.

According to the International Maritime Organisation (IMO), the established ECA are the Baltic Sea area, North Sea area, North American area, and the United States Caribbean Sea area.

gasworld understands that, since January 2015, all vessels in the ECA of the Baltic Sea, North Sea, English Channel and waters 200 nautical miles from the coast of US and Canada, have had to reduce their sulfur emissions to 0.1%.

This is primarily achieved by limiting the maximum sulfur content of the fuel oils loaded, bunkered, and subsequently used onboard, the IMO says, and most ships which operate both outside and inside these ECA will therefore operate on different fuel oils in order to comply with the respective limits.

This has seen various shipbuilders and owners switch to LNG power and, in Bestobell’s experience, increasing demand for the necessary cryogenic valves.

Bestobell’s cryogenic valves are specifically designed for marine applications, which includes the requirement for the valves to have fire-safe properties, whereby all components must be able to withstand a minimum temperature of 925ºC. These are finding growing application in the US market, the company says.

Duncan Gaskin, Sales Director at Bestobell, enthused, “It is very exciting to have supplied the first US flag vessels that will run primarily on LNG. Shipbuilders and owners are increasingly opting for fuel efficient LNG and this kind of vessel is a blueprint for the future of marine engineering.”

“These vessels meet the emissions standards of today and the future. They are some of the most environmentally friendly offshore vessels in the Gulf of Mexico, demonstrating Harvey Gulf’s commitment to sustainability.”

One of the first major contracts Bestobell secured in the marine sector in the US was for the Harvey Gulf International Marine ‘Going Green’ project. Five vessels were designed and built which were the first US flagged vessels capable of operating exclusively on natural gas. The first of these, Harvey Energy, has recently been launched.

Bestobell Marine supplied globe and check valves for the ship’s LNGPac fuel system for the five Harvey Gulf vessels.

In addition, the company has won the contract to supply valves to two Orca Class vessels, operated by Totem Ocean Trailer Express (Totem Ocean) in Alaska, which are undergoing conversion, as they do not currently run on LNG. When relaunched, they will be some of the most environmentally advanced ships in the US.

TOTE Inc. is in the process of converting its existing fleet to run on natural gas as part of its commitment to the environment.