Light Structures to deliver real-time ice-load data on 10 new Arctic-bound LNG carriers

Samsung Heavy Industries chooses ATEX approved, fibre optic-based SENSFIBTM monitoring technology to help keep new Sovcomflot ice-class vessels safe

Samsung Heavy Industries (SHI) has selected Light Structures to deliver comprehensive fibre optic ice load monitoring systems for 10 Arctic Liquid Natural Gas Carriers (ALNGC) operated by Sovcomflot.

The first of Sovcomflot’s newbuild ice-class ships will be delivered before the end of the year, with six more due in 2022 and the final three arriving in 2023. Using LNG for primary fuel, the vessels will produce 45MW of power, which is comparable to that of a nuclear icebreaker, enabling the safe transport of LNG while breaking ice up to 2.1 metres thick in temperatures of -52°C.

Operating in such extreme conditions, Sovcomflot’s new ALNGC vessels will be subject to powerful dynamic forces that could potentially impact hull integrity and operational safety, but with the Light Structures SENSFIB system providing uninterrupted real-time ice load monitoring and alerting, the crew can make informed decisions based on live structural stress data. SENSFIB has already proven invaluable on Arctic routes, following its installation on the first ever icebreaking LNG carrier, Christophe de Margerie.

SENSFIB’s fibre optics technology is based on Fiber Bragg Grating which is claimed to deliver more accurate data while reducing cost and complexity when compared to electro-mechanical systems. Uniquely, SENSFIB sensors are installed using an adhesive, negating the need for any welding, and with no moving parts, users can save the cost of annual recalibration required by electro-mechanical systems. Light Structure’s solution is also EX and ATEX approved.

“We’re delighted to receive such an extensive order for our SENSFIB ice-load monitoring technology, especially as it reflects the long-standing and positive working partnership we have with SHI,” said Niklas Hallgren, Chief Executive Officer, Light Structures. “The contract also shows that leading shipyards and owners are willing to invest in precision structural stress monitoring due to safety and operational advantages, despite the lack of any regulations forcing the use of such technology.”

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