Lomar’s super-eco boxships mark European breakthrough for Thordon Bearings

Sarah Carter
Sarah Carter

03 September 2018


Delaware Trader, the first of two 2,700TEU newbuild containerships that China’s Guangzhou Wenchong Shipyard is delivering to Lomar Shipping this year, has been fitted with a seawater lubricated propeller shaft bearing system from Thordon Bearings.

The vessel represents another breakthrough for Thordon Bearings’ COMPAC seawater lubricated propeller shaft bearing system in the European-owned containership segment.

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London-headquartered Lomar Shipping, a privately-owned shipowning and management company, operates a modern fleet of containerships, bulk carriers, chemical and product tankers.

While environmental protection was a key factor in the decision to move away from oil-lubricated shaft systems, Lomar’s Technical Department remarked that the long-term savings expected on operational expenditure are “very attractive”. While more expensive in terms of CAPEX, Lomar calculated a lower total cost of ownership from the long term savings offered by seawater lubrication, making it a very cost-efficient alternative to stern tube oil-based systems.

Lomar sees a long-term trend across the shipping industry to implement solutions capable of reducing the impact of operations on the environment and seizes every opportunity to do the right thing for the environment. The introduction of these latest, high specification, fuel-efficient vessels is following this commitment.

The COMPAC system meets the most stringent environmental demands with seawater replacing oil as the lubricating medium.

Designed by China’s MARIC and built to DNV GL class, the Super ECO 2700 vessels, are the first to operate according to the classification society’s stringent TMON requirement. This means they benefit from the same extended shaft withdrawal inspection periods as an oil-based system if certain monitoring conditions are met.

With a hull form designed for maximum fuel-efficiency, DNV GL’s RCP notation optimises reefer container carriage in a way that further reduces energy consumption.

“This order is a significant breakthrough for seawater-lubricated stern tube systems not only in the shipping industry but the containership segment as a whole,” said Alexandros Alexandropoulos, Project Director, Technava, Thordon Bearings’ Greece-based distributor that worked with Lomar on the seawater-based solution.

“Lomar has a clearly defined set of social responsibility standards that must meet the highest level of compliance, so we are delighted that Thordon is considered a trusted manufacturer of environmentally safe solutions. Lomar selected COMPAC because of the brand’s reputation, design reliability, zero impact on the marine environment and extended warranty.”

In recent years Lomar has undertaken an extensive newbuildings programme with orders for over 25 sub-Panamax containerships and bulk carriers from Chinese shipyards.

Terry McGowan, President and CEO, Thordon Bearings’, said: “We are delighted that Lomar Shipping has incorporated COMPAC into the design and build of these super eco-friendly newbuilds. The environmental benefits of seawater lubricated propulsion are, of course, well established, but the acceptance of Delaware Trader into the Lomar fleet now establishes the concept as the cost-effective propulsion solution.”

Lomar added: “We will evaluate cost efficiencies over coming months to determine seawater lubricated systems for future newbuilds and for converting existing vessels. From an installation perspective, if you follow the manufacturer’s procedures it’s very straightforward.”

In addition to the award-winning COMPAC elastomeric polymer bearings, Thordon’s scope of supply included a forward propeller shaft seal, Thordon bronze shaft liners, ThorShield corrosion resistant shaft coating, a Thordon Water Quality Package and its Bearing Condition Monitoring (BCM) system.