Lloyd’s Register (LR) has granted its approval in principle (AiP) to a new 250,000dwt liquefied natural gas (LNG) fuelled very large ore carrier (VLOC) built by Hyundai Heavy Industries (HHI).

The ship is expected to help its owner to comply with the International Maritime Organisation’s (IMO) sulphur oxides (SOx) emission limitations from 2020.

It will also enable the operator to meet the growing developments taking place in the global supply of gas, as well as meet the demand for innovative and environmentally friendly designs to replace traditional oil-fuelled ship designs.

Development of the VLOC is based on a joint development project (JDP) started last year by a partnership of Anangel, Woodside, LR, and HHI.

Powered by XDF engine, the vessel is scheduled to be deployed to serve the trade route from North West Australia to North Asia.

The JDP aims to achieve the lowest practical incremental capital and operating costs to allow LNG to compete against other post-2020 fuel options for bulk carriers.

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“The JDP aims to achieve the lowest practical incremental capital and operating costs to allow LNG to compete against other post-2020 fuel options.”

Under the JDP, Anangel, the owner and operator of the ship offered practical advice on the design concept.

Woodside, which provided LNG, offered information on the outlook for LNG bunkering infrastructure and insight for LNG against other fuels.

LR provided high-level hazard identification (HAZID) to the vessel in order to identify the major hazards and validate the safety of the vessel design. The company also provided class approval and issued AiP to HHI.

The JDP members have recently conducted an in-depth economic evaluation of the LNG-fuelled system against various ultra-low sulphur marine fuel oil prices to assess the competitiveness of LNG-fuelled bulk carriers.

They are currently discussing the potential of a further phase of the JDP to add new partners in order to increase the feasibility and attractiveness of LNG as a fuel and address other issues.