Classification society ClassNK has granted an approval in principle (AiP) to Imabari Shipbuilding for their concept design of a 180,000-dwt LPG dual-fuel bulk carrier, the first such vessel to receive the approval
Imabari said the design eliminates the need to consider boil off gas with the design handling LPG at room temperature and high pressure, making the ship’s operation easier.
The LPG tank will be installed in the aft area of the bridge. With a round-trip distance capacity between Japan and Australia, the increase in LPG bunkering infrastructure will make the ship’s operation more flexible.
ClassNK said alternative fuels besides LNG such as methanol or LPG have lower flashpoints compared to traditional fuels, meaning these fuels require special attention to ensure safety on board the ship.
The AiP was granted on the concept design based on ClassNK’s Guidelines for Ships Using Low-Flashpoint Fuels, its Rule Part GF regulation for ships using low-flashpoint fuels incorporating the International Code of Safety for Ships using Gases or other Low-flashpoint Fuels code (IGF code), IMO resolutions MSC.391(95) and the MSC.458(101) revision planned for release in 2024.
International safety requirements for low-flashpoint fuels have been discussed at IMO and as a result the IGF code was adopted and enforced. However ClassNK added the current code does not address specific regulations for alternative fuels other than LNG.
To fill this vacuum, ClassNK released guidelines that outline safety requirements for other viable alternative fuels besides LNG, based on the latest technology and regulation trends. In December 2019, DNV GL also unveiled class rules for the emerging LPG market.
Imabari’s new concept design was developed in co-operation with Mitsubishi Shipbuilding.
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