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Going oil-free with oil

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 That is exactly what Middle East-based gas shipping company did when it chose to replace the oil-free compressors it had on its fleet of eight LNG carriers.

“Many people wrongly believe that only oil-free compressors can produce oil-free air. However, impurities, such as oil, dust, particles and humidity, are normally a result from the ambient air on board a vessel – not from the compressor alone,” says Hans Petter Tanum, director of sales and business development at TMC Compressors.

“The only way to obtain clean, oil- free air is through proper filtration, regardless of whether the compressor is oil-free or oil-lubricated,” added Tanum.

The LNG carriers in question were built with oil-free compressors on board. When it was time for a major overhaul of the compressors, the vessel owner checked the market and concluded that it was less costly to replace the old oil-free compressors with brand new TMC oil-lubricated compressors that also supply oil-free air.

The company opted for 2 x 54 kW oil-lubricated air compressors on board each LNG carrier, as well as 2 x 44 kW working air compressors on two of the vessels, plus desiccant air dryers and filter combination.

“When atmospheric air goes through a compressor, the air volume is reduced but the air still contains the same amount of impurities and water as the original air volume. That is why you need dryers and filters to achieve the highest air quality,” adds Tanum.

TMC has recently launched a dedicated marine compressor stocking programme which allows vessel owners to quickly replace and/or retrofit marine compressors. Under the programme, TMC carries more than 100 different marine compressors and air dryers in stock, with effects ranging from 7 to 200 kW, which can be supplied to customers worldwide at rapid speed.

TMC’s retrofit stocking programme has stock points in Oslo, Singapore, Dubai and Houston. The company offers free freight via sea and greatly reduced rates on airfreight to all major shipping hubs anywhere in the world. A free installation kit and 24/7 online support is also provided.