Maritime classification society American Bureau of Shipping (ABS) and South Korean shipbuilder Samsung Heavy Industries (SHI) have signed an agreement to develop a next-generation liquefied natural gas (LNG) vessel.

According to the agreement, SHI will provide the concept and basic design for the carrier.

The new vessel will feature smart-ship technologies and an advanced air lubrication system, designed to boost efficiency.

ABS will provide a structure design review and arrangements for the carrier.

ABS engineering and technology senior vice-president Patrick Ryan said: “ABS is a leader in gas carriers with a proud record of supporting innovation, delivering operational efficiencies and advancing the cause of safety.

“This exciting project with SHI for a state-of-the-art vessel represents the next step in that journey. ABS classed the world’s first LNG carrier and today continues to lead global gas carrier classification.”

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SHI vice-president Jong H Youn added: “SHI has introduced advanced LNG carriers to the market successfully with industry-leading partners such as ABS.

“In this JDP we will focus on the examination and realisation of future technologies with SHI’s most advanced LNG carrier design to meet current and future market demand.”

In June, Harvey Gulf International Marine partnered with ABS to certify two dual-fuel offshore supply vessels (OSV), including Harvey Energy and Harvey Supporter.

In April, ABS, Google Cloud and Ukraine-based SoftServe completed a trial of AI-powered models to identify corrosion and coating breakdown levels on ships and offshore structures.

Founded in 1862, ABS provides regulatory and statutory assistance on projects, involving floating LNG structures, gas carriers and barges.