Norwegian company Passer Marine has received approval in principle (AiP) from the classification society DNV for the development of a new liquefied natural gas (LNG) fuel tank insulation system.

The new concept is intended for prismatic ‘type B’ LNG tanks, which need a fractional secondary barrier according to International Maritime Organisation (IMO) rules.

The concept also features a leakage detection system to enable the safe handling and containing of fuel leaks.

Passer Marine COO Svein Konradsen said: “The system we have developed is cost-effective and production-friendly. The pandemic has been challenging for many companies and for the development of this particular design. The required testing has been difficult to finalise due to testing interruptions and limited possibilities to travel, but finally, we have been able to submit the necessary documentation which I am very pleased to say was accepted by DNV.”

With the increasing deployment of LNG-fuelled vessels, the need to expand the fuel tank sizes from 300m³ – 1000m³ fuel capacity to up to 10,000m³ – 20,000m³ has also increased. However, this has resulted in less space for cargo.

DNV noted that the industry is seeing a rise in demand for alternative fuel tanks. These ‘type B’ tanks have a prismatic shape and are more volume efficient compared to the traditional cylindrical ‘type C’ tanks.

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DNV maritime gas carrier excellence centre head Monika Johannessen said: “There are several insulation concepts under development that provide an integrated secondary barrier and leakage detection system, but there are few proven systems available on the market.

“We are pleased that Passer Marine has chosen DNV to pursue verification for this innovative concept and look forward to receiving the documentation for full approval.”

An AiP is granted as an early-stage verification level for new design concepts, as well as for current designs in new applications.

DNV issues an AiP after conducting an independent evaluation of a concept as per its rules, notations and regulations.

In March, DNV awarded an AiP to South Korea-based Hyundai Mipo Dockyard (HMD) for its new design of intra-Europe 1,900 twenty-foot equivalent unit (TEU) feeder container vessels.