Alfa Laval AFEM trial provides 30% bunker savings

Sarah Carter
Sarah Carter

29 March 2017


The Alfa Laval Automatic Fuel Efficiency Module (AFEM) is a new modification for reducing the fuel consumption of Alfa Laval Smit Combustion inert gas systems. It does so by ensuring the inert gas that keeps cargo safe during offloading is only generated in the exact amounts required. In a two-year pilot project, the AFEM allowed Italian shipping company Navigazione Montanari S.p.A. to achieve an average fuel savings of 30%. Based in Fano on the Adriatic Sea, Navigazione Montanari owns and manages a fleet of 21 tankers. They operate worldwide, with a particular concentration throughout the Mediterranean region. In recent years, Navigazione Montanari has been focused on improving environmental standards, especially with regard to minimizing CO2 production and fuel waste. Taking part in a pilot project to evaluate the AFEM thus seemed like a natural fit. Valle di Navarra, a 40,000 DWT product carrier built in 2002, was selected as the test vessel for the project. The ship primarily sails in the Mediterranean, with gasoil and gasoline cargo. Compared to similar vessels with Smit Combustion systems, the Valle di Navarra discharges frequently – up to three times per week – which provided Alfa Laval with ample statistical information on the AFEM’s performance and reliability. “With the AFEM installed, the inert gas generator capacity is constantly adjusted,” explains Alessandro Federico, Technical Director at Navigazione Montanari S.p.A. “Purging can never be fully eliminated or avoided in practice, but an optimum setting is maintained. We can see most of the fuel savings at lower discharge rates, where they can be up to 30%.”