A Chinese research institute has won approval in principle for a potentially breakthrough design of the first LNG-fuelled bulk carrier in which the tanks are installed on the deck to save space.
The project, led by the Marine Design and Research Institute, is developing a 294-m long, 210,000-dwt bulker powered by a dual-fuel system consisting of a bi-lobe type C tank with about 6,000 m3 capacity, located on the aft deck. According to the institute, this would not compromise cargo storage capacity.
The institute, a subsidiary of China State Shipbuilding, said the approval in principle provided by the American Bureau of Shipping “is an important first step in incorporating LNG as a fuel and further developing our bulk design.” The co-operation with ABS demonstrated the viability of the project, it added.
The bureau, which has a record of supporting shipbuilding in China, described the approval as “yet another example of our commitment to advancing safety and evolution in new designs.”
Before granting the approval, the bureau conducted a preliminary engineering review, concluding that “the conceptual engineering is feasible for the intended application” and was in principle in compliance with the ABS rules for steel vessels and the IMO codes.
The bureau launched its first global gas solutions team five years ago and has been busy ever since providing guidance on a wide range of LNG issues.