Japan's Kawasaki Heavy Industries (KHI) has received approval in principle (AIP) from global marine classification society American Bureau of Shipping (ABS) for its newly developed MOSS-type LNG tank design concept.
The concept is designated as an IMO Type B independent tank and is said to take a new approach by applying a non-spherical tank design to optimise the use of space on-board LNG carriers.
ABS Global Gas Solutions vice-president Patrick Janssens said: "We are pleased to issue this AIP that further demonstrates our commitment to technology advancements and safety.
"KHI’s concept applies the latest technologies, introducing new efficiencies and innovations that promote a safer and more sustainable shipping industry."
KHI noted that the non-spherical design concept allows Panamax-size LNG carriers to expand their total carrying capacity to 180,000m3, which represents a 25,000m3 volume increase compared to spherical tank configurations.
ABS noted that it had reviewed the strength and fatigue analysis to support KHI in demonstrating the feasibility of the new concept prior to granting the approval.
KHI Ship & Offshore Company Engineering Division general manager Hideaki Naoi said: "As the Panama Canal expands and LNG demand increases, owners and operators are looking to gain efficiencies without compromising safety.
"This new concept adds 15% more carrying capacity, while maintaining the size of the new Panamax tankers.
"By working with a proven technology leader like ABS, we were able to prove the feasibility of this innovative design."
ABS launched its Global Gas Solutions team in 2013 to support the shipping industry in the development of gas-related projects.
The team offers guidance regarding LNG floating structures and systems, gas fuel systems and equipment, gas carriers, and regulatory and statutory requirements.