After the successful launch of Kairos, the world’s largest LNG bunker supply vessel which features ballast-water-free cargo handling, Hyundai Mipo is involved in developing a ballast-water-free design of an 1,800-TEU feeder container ship design
Very few details have emerged regarding the ballast-water-free feeder container ship design. According to South Korean press reports, Hyundai Mipo Dockyard, Korean Register of Shipping and vessel operator Korea Marine Transport Company have formed a joint venture to develop a series of ships with no or minimal requirements to discharge ballast water.
The joint venture is to explore the validity of the design concept, verify the design against construction rules and all applicable international standards. A memorandum of understanding has been signed with the Korean Register of Shipping to review the design, according to local reports.
There do appear to be some fundamental differences between the design of Kairos and the 1,800-TEU container ship. Kairos was designed to work on the inland waterway systems of Europe and the coastal regions, which require conformity to the tough EU TEN-T requirements for seagoing and river trading.
The Kairos design features cargo tanks (two IMO Type C tanks with a total capacity of 7,500 m3) aft of the vessel, positioned to ensure propeller immersion in all load conditions. This is balanced by having the bridge and accommodation block forward on the bow.
No clues have been given on how the ballast-water-free requirement will be achieved in the container ship design. The artist’s image of the proposed container ship looks somewhat conservative compared to Kairos. The bridge and accommodation block is set aft with further cargo slots behind and the vessel features a bulbous bow instead of the more regular lower speed energy-saving straight bow now being adopted by container ships.
Over the years, various ballast-water-free designs have been floated:
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