Classification society Bureau Veritas is set to class the first ethane-powered ship, JS Ineos Insight.

Being built by China’s Sinopacific Shipbuilding Group, JS Ineos Insight is the first of a series of eight 27,500cum multi-gas Dragon-class vessels ordered by Denmark-based Evergas.

The vessel with options for ethane, LNG and conventional diesel power will be used to transport ethane, LPG and LNG.

The Dragon vessels are equipped with Wartsila 6L20 DF main engines with of 2,112kW power, driven by a dual-fuel LNG / diesel power utilising two 1,000cum LNG tanks and two shaft generators with total 3.600kW power.

Bureau Veritas business development manager Martial Claudepierre said: “The ability to burn ethane as well as LNG to power these unique vessels is a major step forward in the use of clean fuels.

“It means the vessels can use cargo gas during transits to provide a clean and clear commercial and environmental advantage.

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“It means the vessels can use cargo gas during transits to provide a clean and clear commercial and environmental advantage.”

“We have worked with Evergas and the Danish Maritime Authority to verify and ensure that the use of ethane is at least as safe as required by the IGC and will not impair the engine compliance with MARPOL Annex VI.”

The vessels are designed to allow the use of cargo gas as they were primarily intended to be used for transporting ethane from the US to the UK Ineos refineries.

Claudepierre added: “Using ethane required extra engine room ventilation and additional gas detection, plus modifications to the main engines including a lower compression ratio, different turbocharger nozzles and de-rating of the engine to cope with the lower knocking resistance of ethane.

“But the gains in not carrying an additional fuel and in environmental performance from being able to burn clean fuel throughout the voyage are significant.”

Image: JS Ineos Insight.. Photo: courtesy of Bureau Veritas.