Japanese shipping company Mitsui OSK Lines (MOL) and South Korea's Samsung Heavy Industries (SHI) have secured an approval in principle (AIP) from DNV GL for the design of a series of four liquefied natural gas (LNG)-fuelled container ships.

The AIP was granted after the completion of a hazard identification (HAZID) workshop relating to the vessel's fuel gas supply system (FGSS) and LNG bunkering operations.

All four of the 20,000 twenty-foot equivalent unit (TEU) ships have been designed to be fuelled by LNG, and are currently under construction. The vessels are expected to comply with new environmental emissions regulations.

DNV GL Korea and Japan maritime regional manager Tommy Bjørnsen said: “This AIP is another step toward the more widespread adoption of LNG as a fuel for shipping.

“The emissions and efficiency benefits of LNG mean it is almost sure to become an important part of the fuel mix over the next few years.”

MOL and SHI’s new LNG ship design was developed last month, and features an optimal retrofit plan for vessels in service, as well as a suitable LNG fuel tank layout and design for ultra-large container ships (ULCS).

"The emissions and efficiency benefits of LNG mean it is almost sure to become an important part of the fuel mix over the next few years."

An appropriate LNG fuel supply system design has also been developed to ensure maximum engine power output for ULCS, and dual-fuel engine systems that enable the use of either LNG or conventional fuel oil.

MOL and SHI are yet to develop a LNG bunkering system for the vessels, but noted they intend to do so in the near future.

Additionally, DNV GL has recently granted a general approval for ship application (GASA) to Torgy LNG’s updated LNG Type A tank design, as part of a separate development.


Image: Approval in principle (AiP) handover to MOL and SHI. Photo: courtesy of DNV GL AS.