DNV GL has signed an agreement with Mitsui OSK Lines (MOL) and four other industry partners to jointly study the commercial potential of LNG-fuelled Capesize vessels operating between Australia and China.
An LNG-fuelled Capesize concept design will also be developed under the newly christened Green Corridor joint industry project (JIP).
DNV GL bulk carriers maritime business director Morten Lovstad said: “As we approach the entry into force date for sulphur emissions, we are seeing interest in LNG as a ship fuel start to climb again.
“As one of the largest LNG exporters in the world and with bunkering infrastructure coming online, Australia is well-placed to support the bulk trade on the west coast with LNG as fuel.
“By working together with some of the industry’s technology leaders, we are confident this new project has the potential to deliver a competitive, compliant and safe vessel, and the business case to back it up.”
An LNG-powered Capesize bulker will operate from Australia as part of the Green Corridor programme, which also includes BHP Billiton, Rio Tinto, SDARI and Woodside.
Factors such capital nd operational costs, as well as price sensitivities in terms of LNG and low-sulphur marine fuel oils, will be looked into during the financial and technical feasiblity study.
Comparisons between a conventionally fuelled bulker and an LNG retrofit will be also carried out as part of the research, in addition to a high level bunker supply chain assessment to identify major issues affecting the vessel's design.
The LNG-fuelled ship will undergo approval in principle (AiP) under the new DNV GL rules.
Image: Deal signing ceremony among DNV GL, MOL, BHP Billiton, Rio Tinto, SDARI and Woodside. Photo: courtesy of DNV GL AS.