Towards the end of 2021, Premier Ship Models was tasked with constructing 35 models of the new line of Avenir ships. This consisted of: eleven Accolades, eight Aspirations, eight Ascensions and eight Achievements. 

The Accolade was built in 2021, and is the second 7,500 cubic-metre, dual-purpose liquefied natural gas (LNG) carrier which is fully outfitted and commissioned to operate as an LNG Bunkering Vessel (LBV). It is equipped with dual-fuel consumers, and has been renowned for its energy efficiency during transit. Its length overall measures in at 123.48 metres, rendering the ship slow-moving but able to hold incredibly large amounts of cargo. The hull is navy blue, contrasted by a red deck, red underbelly and white bridge. It’s a stunning sight, and everything is of a grand scale.

The Aspiration was built in 2021 as well, and currently sails under the flag of Malta. It is Avenir’s third instalment in 7,500 cubic-metre, dual-purpose vessels. Its purpose is to provide LNG bunkering via ship-to-ship transfer to multiple customers throughout the Mediterranean. It will also provide infrastructure in important ports across the Mediterranean by supporting the growth of LNG as a marine fuel. Avenir claim this will help to a proliferate degree in reducing CO2, NOx and Sox emissions in the area.

The Ascension is the sister ship of the Aspiration, and it was launched in June 2021, and this is the fourth 7,500 cubic-metre dual-purpose, LNG supply and Bunkering Supply Vessel. This also sails under the flag of Malta, and like the Accolade, it has a red keel, blue hull and is adorned with large white lettering spelling ‘LNG’ on the side, making it easy to identify.

Finally, the Avenir Achievement. This ship is significantly larger than its Avenir siblings, measuring in as a 20,000 cubic-metre LNG Bunkering Supply Vessel. Avenir announced in December 2021 that they had entered into a Time Charter Party with the well-known oil company Shell. The vessel itself will be equipped with BOG reliquefication and simultaneous operations capabilities, thus meaning the Achievement is the world’s biggest, most efficient and most versatile LNG Bunkering Supply Vessel.

Avenir LNG originated in 2018, and they’re a fully integrated small-scale LNG supplier. They remain strong at the forefront in one of the quickest growing sectors of alternative fuel distribution.

Fuel as we know it is both finite and harmful to the environment. Rising awareness of this has led to a much greater demand for cleaner fuels, and this has subsequently resulted in supremely high figures for both the import and transportation of LNG. According to Bloomberg, by the year 2030, 450 million metric tonnes per annum (MMtpa) of LNG will be needed around the world. This is an increase from 308MMtpa in 2018, and the majority of this surge will be largely driven by Asia, primarily China and India. Asia as a continent will account for 86% of the total growth.

Completing the project was never going to be an easy feat, what with the escalation of tensions in Eastern Europe, COVID-19 and other hinderances. However, the models were all completed on time and to an excellent degree of quality.

The models themselves were to be of incredible accuracy, and to achieve said accuracy, we liaised with Inner Leaf, as well as the client. Furthermore, extensive research was poured into the project, combing through details surrounding Avenir so as to make each and every model as authentic as possible.

Conversing with the client frequently ensured that the product was made to fit their exact specifications, in terms of colour schemes, structures and measurements. Each model has the same red hull, except for the Avenir Accolade, which is primarily navy blue with a white deck.

As with most custom builds, the first stages were extensive levels of research and liaising with the clients. Next was producing adequate plans to follow for each and every model, and these were based off of the plans of the real-life counterparts. This ensured the highest possible levels of both intricacy and accuracy.

The superstructures of the models were built via 3D printer, which uses resin. This material is extremely rigid, yet fairly lightweight, and so the model will be protected against any potential damage. After the general structure of the models had been printed, the parts were carefully separated and laid out in order. Little, more miscellaneous pieces such as rigging, stacks and deck equipment would then be fixed to the ship to provide an added layer of detail.

After this, the models were painted accordingly in their appropriate colour schemes. The work is tedious and requires an incredibly steady hand, but the final result is worth it ten times over. The first part of the models to be painted were the deck and the bridge, before the keel and the hull followed suit. Before long, there is no grey resin in sight, as the entirety of the ship is adorned in its signature Avenir colours.

Subsequently, the smaller pieces were then added, such as the propellers and lifeboats. These finer intricacies brought the models to life and provide that much-needed final layer of authenticity.

The conclusive stages of the model-making were placing a name-plate on each model to identify them and then providing each one with an appropriate stand and case so as to show them off on display.

So far, we have eleven Accolade models proudly displayed in their cases, alongside appropriate name plates. 

Restrictions from COVID did prove to be a slight obstacle of course, as face-to-face meetings aren’t possible and so communication isn’t necessarily as efficient, but thanks to the digitalisation of the company, as well as high levels of dedication and persistence, the project up to this point was seen through without a hitch.

The quality of each model was second-to-none, and Premier Ship Models are hugely proud of the work carried out. All parties in fact were left pleased, and the models are a wonderful representation of Avenir, and the important work they’re doing to try and reduce global CO2 emissions.

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