POLSTEAM prepares for changeover with the Alfa Laval ACS

POLSTEAM is Poland’s largest ship owner, operating 66 ships with a total capacity of 2.7 million DWT. Many of these vessels do business in Emission Control Areas (ECAs), which is why the company has turned to Alfa Laval for security in fuel changeover.

DATE 2017-09-05

POLSTEAM’s fleet includes 60 bulk carriers that handle the majority of its business. Based in Poland and travelling frequently to destinations in the US and Canada, the vessels spend time in both European and North American ECAs. POLSTEAM was therefore eager to ensure safe fuel changeover when ECA sulphur limits tightened.

Well-controlled cooling a must

Early on, POLSTEAM recognized the potential hazards of switching between HFO and MGO/MDO. These include impaired manoeuvrability at start and low load, as well as pump seizure and temperature shocks in fuel line equipment.

To avoid these problems, POLSTEAM chose the advanced automation and integrated cooling of the Alfa Laval Automated Fuel Changeover System (ACS).

“We began looking at the ACS concept some time ago, given that we are involved in both US and ECA operation,” says Leszek Trachimowicz, POLSTEAM Technical Director. “What became clear very quickly was that more than the fuel switch itself is important. To secure safe and reliable changeover, you need a complete system with a well-controlled cooling function.”

Forty ACS units on twenty vessels

In September 2014, POLSTEAM signed with Alfa Laval for 40 ACS units to be installed on 20 vessels, where they will be integrated with the existing Alfa Laval Fuel Conditioning Modules on board. LT fresh water will be used as the cooling medium, with an additional LT water circuit to boost the heat transfer effect.

Circulating pumps and plate heat exchangers are also in Alfa Laval’s scope of delivery.

Choosing changeover security

In fact, POLSTEAM was one of many who chose to prepare for the arrival of new ECA limits. In the year leading up to 1 January 2015, customers turned to Alfa Laval for more than 300 ACS units.