Classification society Bureau Veritas (BV) has provided ‘approval in principle’ to a new liquefied natural gas (LNG) bunkering ship concept designed by Gaztransport & Technigaz (GTT).

The 4,000m³ bunker tanker will be used to deliver LNG as ship’s fuel using tanks with a GTT Mark III Flex Cargo Containment system.

The bunker vessel will feature a pressurised membrane containment system to store LNG at a pressure of up to two barg, increasing the capacity as well the operational flexibility.

"Practical LNG bunker tankers are the key to building a viable LNG supply chain on which to develop LNG as a ship’s fuel."

BV Marine and Offshore Division head and executive vice-president Philippe Donche-Gay said: "Practical LNG bunker tankers are the key to building a viable LNG supply chain on which to develop LNG as a ship’s fuel.

"This pressurised membrane tank concept from GTT means LNG bunker tankers can manage boil off gas (BOG) better and increase loading and delivery flow rates."

The new concept is expected to deliver appropriate BOG management solutions for loading and bunkering operations through a wide range of vapour pressure operating preferences that are made possible by buffering and condensing vapours in the tanks.

GTT is engaged in the design of membrane containment systems for the maritime transportation and storage of LNG.

The company had recently received approvals from various leading classification societies for its designs of a 2,200m³ bunker barge in the US market and of the REACH4 bunker mast.

The company also received approval from allows GTT to adopt LNG as a fuel for commercial vessels.