Chemical tankers are types of specialized cargo ships, which are used and adopted primarily for the bulk carriage of liquid chemicals. These vehicles are required to be in compliance with stringent safety regulations and processes that are prescribed under the compulsory International Bulk Chemical Code (IBC).

Safety features and increased stowage capacities are key factors that are being worked on by chemical tanker manufacturers, as chemical cargoes can be dangerous, with a large proportion being classified as toxic or flammable. Consequently, the types of chemical tankers are classified on the basis of their features and cargo carrying capability into ST1, ST2, and ST3.

The first is a chemical tanker type with is designed to transport the most hazardous chemical products. Consequently, these ships have been equipped with the latest and most efficient preventive safety infrastructure and hazard control systems to minimize the risks of leakage. Developments in the field aim primarily to improve on the factor of damage stability and increased distance between cargo tanks and the shell plating.

ST2 is the intermediate version of chemical tankers which is equipped with substantial preventive measures, whilst ST3 chemical tankers require only moderate containment features, which are required to handle chemical cargoes of lower toxicity or flammability.

Sustainability Trends Support Cleaner Operations for Chemical Tankers

Newer chemical tanker variants are being equipped with cleaner power options through novel innovations such as permanent magnet shaft generators. This trend allows chemical tankers to source clean energy when it is docked at harbor on shore. Such developments aid not just in major fuel savings, but will also result in substantial cuts in emissions at harbor and sea.

Such a power solution is dependent on a variable frequency drive technology, which allows the main engine structure to run at variable speeds, even as the network of electrical energy will be driven by the shaft generator structure. The unique design eliminates the need for generators and auxiliary engines during operations, reducing maintenance and operational expenditure, while maximizing fuel efficiency. Instead, when the main engine fails to run normally, the generator shaft can double as a motor to ensure safe travel back to port.

Such a design also bolsters efficiency in terms of power distribution to the bow thruster structures, which eases out cargo handling operations and systems for chemical tankers loading procedures. Such reliable and novel tech innovations are being viewed as essential to the future of the maritime chemical trade industry, minimizing the hazards of chemical tankers.

Tank Tech to Aid Cleaning and Insulation, Bolsters Profitability

The new ORCA technology has been recently making waves in the chemical tankers industry, as it enables the construction of chemical tankers that are equipped with independent tanks for cargo, for the same cost and capabilities as that of conventional tanker designs.

Consequently, the usage of ORCA technology on chemical tankers can benefit operators through reduced number of trips, longer utility, superior protection of cargo content from potential contaminations, in addition to greater energy savings with highly efficient insulation.

Traditional chemical tankers make use of tanks which are built adjacent to each other, or they utilize alternative ballast systems. A general arrangement of chemical tankers can increase the risk of contamination, have a higher rate of heat loss, and can also require very complex tank cleaning operations. The design has also been proven as an innovative solution to the problem of persistent floaters.

Finally, ORCA technology also permits more efficient and faster cleaning procedures for the cargo tanks enabling reductions in downtime and bolstering profitability in operations. According to the developers ORCA technology can result in more than 80 per cent savings in heating, 35 per cent reduction in usage of duplex steel and a higher probability of tanks being reused. Further, washing operations for chemical tankers require up to 75 per cent lesser time and only half of the fuel and water resources as compared to conventional washing processes.

Fuel Transport Operations Sustain Chemical Tanker Sales

The different types of chemical tankers are expected to witness increased demand in the years to come owing to the demand for specialized vessels to comply with the sulfur cap set by the IMO for the New Year. Such changes are expected to limit all types of ships including chemical tankers. However chemical tankers will be able to offset the restrictions owing to the high requirements of transporting a wide range of alternative fuels to international bunker storage facilities from refineries.

Such trends have resulted in stronger demand and sales figures by prospective owners of chemical tankers, which have also witnessed fewer numbers of older ships being sent to scrapyards. However, the recent requirement to fit in ballast treatment systems is expected to initiate an impact.

 Chemical tankers are seldom noted for innovations in construction and design. However, it is not lagging far behind other ship types. For instance, newer chemical tankers have come up with novel designs which are capable of running on alternative fuels such as methanol, while others have been designed to produce up to 50,000 dead weight tonnage. Such changes will sustain the demand for different chemical tanker variants in the years ahead.

Chemical Tanker Trucks Poised for Growth with Material Innovations

An increasing number of chemical tanker fleets are replacing their aging assets, and are incorporating newer vehicles which have come in with a number of innovative changes in terms of product safeguards, strength, corrosion resistance, and lower weight.

The use of lean duplex steel alloy in chemical tanker truck production is one of the mainstream innovations in the field in recent times, which provides substantial improvements in terms of performance, in terms of resisting damage arising from road accidents, up to 33 per cent more than conventional tanks, driving the demand from chemical hauling companies.

In addition, modern chemical tanker trucks are fitted with innovative features such as electronic stability control systems which automatically looks out for loss of control and rollover threats, and applies breaks to improve the situation. Further newer truck tanks have lower centers of gravity and additional features such as man lids, safety valves, and internal bulkheads to minimize the risk of leaks and accidental combustion of chemical contents being transported. These innovations are anticipated to sustain demand for the foreseeable future.