Association Technique Maritime et Aéronautique

Numéro : 2788 - Year : 2023

Electric and automatic marine loading arms

PAQUET Stéphane, Technip Energies Loading Systems– R&D Manager – Sens, France

BEN ALI Souhail, Technip Energies Loading Systems – Business Development Manager Sens, France

Electrification of products is a global trend in the industry and replacing traditional hydraulic power units with electrical systems is becoming increasingly popular. Electrification is being seen across a wide range of industries, including transportation (e.g. electrical vehicles, aircraft control systems), home appliances or the energy industry. This trend has been driven by advances in technology and a growing demand for more efficient and sustainable products.

This presentation is going to address how Technip Energies (T.EN) has reshaped its well-recognized Marine Loading Arms (MLA) technology into an innovative transfer solution.

As of today, hydraulic drives have exclusively been used to power MLAs. As a matter of fact, all driving-related operations such as parking/unparking, connecting/disconnecting to/from the ship manifold, are manually controlled by an operator using a remote-control unit.

Despite this technology has proven records, operating hydraulic systems is a threat to the environment and the local marine life. The automatic electric MLA (automatic e-MLA) is by essence a more sustainable and efficient product and a pivot in the business as:

  • The complex and spread hydraulic tubing inherent to hydraulic drives is eliminated, easing assembly and maintenance,
  • This MLA uses advanced technology such as sensors, control algorithms to enable automatic, seamless and precise movements from parked to connected attitudes,
  • It is a digital by inception product, opening for operations datalogging, software evolution along product lifecycle and predictive maintenance,
  • Automation reduces the level of human intervention. The automatically MLA is one of the pieces in the fully automated jetty operation which will enable completely unstaffed operations at medium term.

T.EN Loading Systems has completed a development program to design and qualify an e-MLA with the Auto Drive control. A pilot unit is under assembly and will start commissioning second half of 2023 in T.EN Loading Systems facilities, to demonstrate the solution. It features five LNG 60’ e-MLA – one real and four other simulated – with the full control system package, including automatic mode and advanced condition-based monitoring functions.

This presentation addresses the development of the e-MLA, the development of the Auto Drive control and the qualification of the required key technological bricks. The benefits of the automatic e-MLA from a design, operational, cost and sustainable perspective will be covered.



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