News from our Members and Partners

30 April 2019

Babcock brings ecoETHN™ - a new ethane Boil Off Gas technology to the market

Babcock International, a global leader in liquefied gas cargo handling systems, has added ecoETHN™, a patent pending ethane Boil Off Gas (BOG) reliquefaction technology, to its growing portfolio of innovative solutions.

Utilising Babcock’s existing technologies of SuperCooler™ and VentGasCooler (VGC™), ecoETHN™ integrates the reliquefaction system with the fuel gas supply system, enabling reliquefaction of methane-rich BOG that can be used as fuel for main engine and auxiliary power generators. ecoETHN™ reduces greenhouse gas emissions and promotes safe and efficient vessel operations – providing environmental and commercial advantages.

ecoETHN™ is designed to handle ethane cargoes with high methane content and also effectively handles methane enrichment in the BOG more efficiently than conventional reliquefaction solutions. It is a cost effective solution that minimises both capital and operational expenditure through the unique combination of reliquefaction and a fuel delivery system.

Neale Campbell, Managing Director, Babcock LGE said:

“ecoETHN™ is a breakthrough addition to our portfolio of gas handling technologies. We continue to challenge ourselves and develop solutions that we believe will meet the current and future needs of our customers while providing environmental and commercial benefits within the gas handling market. A key advantage of ecoETHN™ is that it allows methane content up to 2.0 mol% in the liquid phase to be transported for the next generation of VLEC/ULEC for typical ethane cargoes out of the USA.

Neale continued:

“Innovation is at the heart of our business and ecoETHN™ is already attracting significant interest from a number of global ship owners and shipyards. We are excited by the unique benefits that this technology will deliver for all stakeholders across the ethane value chain.”

Babcock LGE, a wholly owned subsidiary, delivers a range of solutions designed to support the growing liquefied gas market, including ecoSMRT®, VGC™, FGSV0™ and SuperCooler™ technologies and received two Queen’s Awards for Enterprise for outstanding business achievement in the fields of ‘International Trade’ and ‘Innovation’ in 2016. 2

Technical outline

Utilising Babcock’s SuperCooler™ and VGC™ innovations, the system allows selection of BOG compression and refrigerant systems removing the traditional constraint to fully condense the BOG in a single step, thus maximising efficiency.

When combined with ethane fuelled engines, the system uses cold energy in the low temperature ethane fuel stream, to increase the efficiency of the overall system by cooling the BOG. A portion of the methane rich stream can also be blended into the fuel, reducing the amount of valuable ethane component in the cargo that would otherwise be consumed as fuel.

In addition, low and medium pressure methane rich gas streams from the reliquefaction system can be used as fuel for auxiliary power generators, thus utilising an even greater proportion of the methane-rich BOG rather than fuels such as IFO or MGO, bringing environmental benefits.

The system has the additional benefit of utilising the BOG ‘fuel’ in the auxiliary engines during loading, when, generally, the main engine is not consuming any fuel – improving the loading rate and creating further cost savings to end-users.

On a typical deep-sea voyage, ecoETHN™, when integrated with ship main engine and power generation systems needs only one reliquefaction system, giving CAPEX and OPEX benefits.


About Babcock:

For more than a century, Babcock has been trusted to deliver bespoke, highly-skilled engineering services. We help customers in the UK and around the world to improve the capability, reliability and availability of their most critical assets within the four market sectors of Marine, Land, Aviation, and Nuclear, underpinned by a deep understanding of technology integration, unique infrastructure, and specialist training. w:

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