SITizens Get Innovative to Help Shipping Industry Go Green

Two teams from SIT were the only winners to receive commendation awards and S$5,000 cash prizes in a competition aimed at helping shipping companies adopt cleaner fuels using LNG (Liquefied Natural Gas).

The Low-Cost LNG Retrofit Challenge, held from July to December 2018, attracted over 60 participants from SIT and other universities. Participants had to develop cost-efficient and innovative LNG fuel gas system designs and installation concepts that could be retrofitted to an existing vessel with a conventional fuel oil system. This would allow shipping companies to embrace cleaner fuels and reduce harmful emissions, including adhering to the International Maritime Organisation’s stringent guidelines on ship emissions that comes into effect from 2020.

Innovative and low-cost solutions

The proposals by the SIT teams outlined ways to reduce costs and streamline retrofitting operations such as using alternative materials to store LNG fuel, improved methods to install LNG fuel systems and alternative methods to speed up retrofitting process.

Members of one of the winning teams (from left to right): Thian Le Wei, A Eswaran Reddiar, Mohamed Rizwan, Ang Wei Sin, and Arvinderpal Singh, all Year 2 SIT-Newcastle University marine programme students.


The first winning SIT team, led by Ang Wei Sin, a Year 2 student reading the SIT-Newcastle University Marine Engineering programme, looked into how the design can be modified when retrofitting the LNG fuel system, to ensure that the LNG fuel tank does not take up too much space on board the vessel.

The team fashioned a design that adds LNG-ready prefabricated sponson storage at both sides of the ship. Such a retrofit can be done in eight weeks and increases the additional cargo carrying capacity by 8% for a 1000 TEU container ship. This results in a cost-saving solution for the retrofit.

The winning design which proposed the use of prefabricated LNG sponson, a feature that extends from the hull or other parts of the vessel to aid in stability while floating.


“Throughout the few months leading up to the submission, the team had to conduct research on the current industry practice and the challenges they face when doing retrofitting work. It was quite a steep learning curve as LNG concepts are quite new to most of us. Nonetheless it was a very fruitful experience and we are glad that we persevered on,” remarked Wei Sin.

The winners received their prizes from Professor Low Teck Seng (extreme left), Chief Executive Officer of the National Research Foundation (NRF) at the Singapore Maritime Technology Conference (SMTC) 2019 on 10 April.


Guidance from industry mentor

The second winning SIT team proposed the use of manganese-steel as a cheaper and viable alternative to the current nickel-based steels, factoring in the material’s tensile strength and feasibility to store LNG fuel. Under the guidance of their industry mentor, Mr Nirmal Vineeth Menon from Sembcorp Marine, the team was able to gain perspectives and insights from a shipyard’s point of view.

SIT students received mentorship from Sembcorp Marine staff (from left to right): Linda Chui, Terry Yong Kin Leong, Nirmal Vineeth Menon, Edmund Tay and Lee Pei Ling.


“We are grateful to Sembcorp Marine for giving us access to research and operational data that allowed us to have a clearer understanding of the nature of the shipbuilding industry. This in turn helped in developing strategies to approach the competition’s problem statement,” commented team leader Bryan Low, a Year 2 Marine Engineering student.

“Through this competition, we have certainly honed our project management skills to produce a report in an extremely tight turnaround time, as well as people management skills in coordinating everyone’s schedule and roles.”

Our heartiest congratulations to the winning teams!

Members of the second winning SIT team (from left to right): Chiam Yi Sheng, Siti Syafiqah, Mong Jun Hao, Bryan Low and Mustansir Dohadwala, all Year 2 SIT-Newcastle University marine programme students.