Eliminating pollution and extracting its value
Vaholmen VOC Recovery AS has the solution for avoiding 60-80% of the emissions during oil loading operation at offshore terminals by capturing and bringing the hydrocarbons back into the loop. Thereby realizing its values. This solution has now been granted patent protection in Australia.
Vapor from oil cargoes releases millions of tons of CO2 equivalents – through the release of volatile organic compounds (VOC) – into the atmosphere. Between 60-80 % of these emissions are generated during loading of the crude oil cargoes.
“Pollution is resources gone astray” says CEO of Vaholmen VOC Recovery AS Arve Andersson, ”the combination of two proven technologies into a new and innovative product enables capturing and utilization of values that otherwise are lost in a profitable way.”
Vaholmen VOC Recovery AS has, in close cooperation with its partners American Bureau of Shipping, Ulstein Design & Solutions AS and Wärtsilä Gas Solutions AS, developed a concept that addresses the challenges caused by offshore loading of crude oil tankers. The concept includes a VOC recovery plant installed on a dynamically positioned vessel. The vessel – the Vaholmen Unit – will operate close to the loading tanker for capturing and processing the VOC generated on the tanker through a hose connected to the tanker’s vapour return manifold. The output from the process – the liquefied VOC– can be monetized through injection into a stream of relevant hydrocarbons like crude oil, as feedstock for powerplants, refineries or other as well as providing fuel for electrical power production onboard the Vaholmen Unit. The value of the captured hydrocarbons will normally exceed the costs of the operation of the Vaholmen Unit.
Norwegian authorities have set strict limitations to VOC emissions during loading of shuttle tankers at offshore oil fields since the turn of the century and efficient technology for on board treatment is developed and operated since. Most of this equipment is provided by Wärtsilä Gas Solutions.
When crude oil is loaded into VLCCs and other crude oil tankers at loading buoys or sea islands at distances from shore, the utilization of onboard VOC capture and processing system is not economically feasible. Installing VOC capture system on loading buoys or sea islands is not very feasible as the capture and transportation of the VOC back to shore for utilization is technically challenging and very costly.
Vaholmen has obtained patent protection in Norway and has patents pending in Europe, Brazil, Canada, China, the Gulf Cooperating Countries, Indonesia, India, Iran, Japan, South-Korea, Mexico, Malaysia, USA and Vietnam.
About the Vaholmen Units
The Vaholmen Units, which can be classed as an OSV with a cargo capacity of 1 200 m3 of liquid VOC, or as gas carrier with 3 000 m3 liquid VOC loading capacity, have been developed in close cooperation with Wärtsilä Gas Solution, American Bureau of Shipping and Ulstein Design & Solutions. Regardless of capacity, the Vaholmen Unit will be equipped with DP2 capabilities and with a flexible and energy efficient power system.
Vaholmen is offering Vaholmen Units under time charter, sale on an EPC basis or licenses to terminal owners and terminal operators and with management services for VOC plants and vessels in cooperation with partners.
 Fourth IMO GHG Study 2020 section 2.2.4 estimates total mass loss during transportation to be 0,124%, of which 0,1%points is lost during loading.