Japan-based ship classification society ClassNK has issued approval in principle (AIP) for a liquefied natural gas (LNG) fuelled bulk carrier design developed by Maritime Innovation Japan Corporation (MIJAC).

The approval was granted following a safety evaluation based on ClassNK’s guidelines for gas fuelled ships.

The 98,000dwt LNG-fuelled bulk carrier design complies with the International Code of Safety for Ships using Gases or other low flashpoint fuels (IGF Code), which is expected to come into force from 1 January 2017.

“Compared with diesel fuel, natural gas is a clean energy source that emits less carbon dioxide (CO2) and greenhouse gases (GHG), and no sulphur oxides (SOx).”

The new vessel will feature an LNG tank (IMO Type B) with roughly 2,000m³ capacity besides an LNG fuel supply system.

The main engine as well as the main generator engines will operate on dual fuel.

ClassNK said in a statement: “Compared with diesel fuel, natural gas is a clean energy source that emits less carbon dioxide (CO2) and greenhouse gases (GHG), and no sulphur oxides (SOx).

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“It is expected that the future use of natural gas as a ship’s fuel will continue to increase.”

Founded in April 2013, MIJAC guides research and development on ship design and construction, ship-operating technology as well as other technologies to minimise the carbon footprint from ships.

It receives support from Oshima Shipbuilding, Sanoyas Shipbuilding Corporation, Shin Kurushima Dockyard, Tsuneishi Shipbuilding, Nippon Yusen Kabushiki Kaisha and Nippon Kaiji Kyokai.

In April, ClassNK approved Aquarius Marine Solar Power system to be installed in environmental maritime technology designer Eco Marine Power’s (EMP) vessels.