Japan-based classification society ClassNK has granted an approval in principle (AIP) to the concept design of a 180,000dwt liquid petroleum gas (LPG) dual-fuelled bulk carrier.

The AIP was given to Imabari Shipbuilding, which developed the bulk carrier in partnership with Mitsubishi Shipbuilding.

The AIP complies with ClassNK’s Guidelines for Ships Using Low-Flashpoint Fuels and Rule Part GF, which incorporates the International Code of Safety for Ships using gases or other low-flashpoint fuels (IGF Code), current IMO Res. MSC.391(95) and the MSC.458(101) revision.

It marks the first LPG dual-fuelled bulk carrier to receive an AIP.

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Imabari Shipbuilding said that the ship design makes its operation convenient as ‘it eliminates the necessity for special consideration of boil-off gas with this design handling LPG at room temperature and high pressure’.

Additionally, the ship design takes cost competitiveness into consideration and has removed the use of stainless steel and other low-temperature materials and cryogenic insulation.

Imabari Shipbuilding added: “LPG tank is planned / designed to be installed in the aft area of the bridge and with round-trip distance capacity between Japan and Australia.

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“And, as for supplying LPG to the ship, nowadays, LPG supply bases and infrastructure facilities are globally more developed and improved, which makes the ship’s operation more flexible. This is another motivation to create this design.”

In January, ClassNK amended its Rules and Guidance for the Survey and Construction of Steel Ships.