July 27, 2021

Tanker Golar Freeze Keeps Oceans Free from Waste with LFC Biodigester

JAMAICA — In 2019, the Golar Freeze was stationed in Jamaica and the vessel owners realized that disposing of waste food was an expensive and cumbersome proposition. The usual method involves storing waste food in a refrigerator and transporting it ashore, typically several times a month. The captain chose to invest in an LFC-50 biodigester from Power Knot that was installed later that year.

The Golar Freeze is a Floating Storage and Regasification Unit vessel (FSRU). The ship is moored offshore; it takes bulk deliveries of liquid natural gas (LNG) that have been shipped at high pressure and low temperature (–160°C). The FSRU heats the gas and pipes it ashore for domestic use, commercial use, or to generate electricity. Using an FSRU saves the community from having to build and maintain its own LNG plant and when the gas is no longer required, the ship can move easily to serve a different community.

Sustainable Approach to Waste Disposal on Tankers

In 2019 the ship was stationed in Jamaica and the vessel owners realized that disposing of waste food was an expensive and cumbersome proposition. The usual method involves storing waste food in a refrigerator and transporting it ashore, typically several times a month. The captain chose to invest in an LFC-50 biodigester from Power Knot that was installed later that year. The LFC biodigester eats the waste food aerobically, sending the output as grey water to the ship’s sewage system. From there it is further processed and safely discharged as non potable water.

This aerobic process has no smells and the crew can dispose of waste food at any time because the machine operates continuously.

Gabriele Pipitone, Vessel Manager of Golar Freeze stated recently, “We are very happy with performances of the LFC-50 biodigester. We choose Power Knot due to quality, price, and proximity to Jamaica.”

The Golar Freeze is now moving to Brazil, where there are stricter regulations on disposal to the ocean. The LFC biodigesters meet all the requirements so stationing the FSRU off the coast of that country will not present any problems for the way the crew dispose of their waste food.

The Impact of Food Waste on the Ocean

When food waste enters the ocean, it causes a series of unpredictable and catastrophic chain of events. It changes the delicate balance of the ecosystem: added nutrients caused by food waste causes eutrophication which can in turn cause algae bloom. These algae blooms consume all the oxygen in the water, block sunlight for plants, and produce toxins.

Food waste in the ocean also disrupts the food chain equilibrium and contributes to the bioaccumulation of pesticides. Above all, food waste is one of the largest contributors to global warming. The emissions caused from food waste is estimated to have three times the impact of global emissions from aviation.

Department of Justice Mandated Solutions

The International Convention for the Prevention of Pollution From Ships (MARPOL) has also set trash disposal regulations. In many locations, ground-up food can be discharged beyond 3 nautical miles (nm) from shore, while food that is not ground can be discharged beyond 12 nm from shore. In addition, the US Department of Justice has mandated that cruise ships and tankers must use biodigesters to contain their food waste.

About The Golar Freeze

The Golar Freeze is an FSRU built in 1977 with a capacity of 125,000m³. The ship can supply  4.9 billion cubic meters per year of LNG. The typical crew on an FSRU is 30 highly skilled seafarers.

Industry: Tanker

Location: Jamaica

Power Knot