Class society Korean Register (KR) has signed a memorandum of understanding with South Korean shipbuilder Hyundai Mipo Dockyard to develop small- and medium-sized LNG carriers with IMO Type B cargo containment systems
Under the MOU, KR will take part in the design process for a 30,000-m3 LNG carrier, reviewing and approving the suitability of the Type B LNG tank design in accordance with class rules and international standards.
KR expects the Type-B cargo containment system will increase cargo capacity and maximum load limit as it is more efficient than Type C cargo containment, which is commonly used on small LNG carriers.
Through the joint development project, KR will increase the technology for applying Type B cargo containment to deliver high spatial utilisation, while scaling up the technology for drawing approval of efficient and economical small- and-medium sized LNG carriers.
Some 115 LNG carriers have been built using IMO type B independent tanks based on the spherical tank design developed by Moss Rosenberg Verft in 1973. Japanese shipbuilder IHI developed a Type B cargo containment system based on self-supporting prismatic tanks, which was completed in 1985. Polar Eagle and Arctic Sun, two LNG carriers each with a capacity of 87,500 m3, were the first vessels built with IHI’s SPB cargo containment system in 1993.
Japanese shipbuilder Japan Marine United Corp (JMU) won orders for four 165,000-m3 LNGCs for which IHI self-supporting, prismatic-shape IMO Type B (IHI-SPB) cargo tanks have been specified.
The first, Energy Liberty, was delivered in 2017, followed by Energy Glory in 2018 and Energy Innovator and Energy Universe in 2019.
The vessels are long-term chartered to Tokyo LNG Tanker, the shipping arm of Tokyo Gas, and used to lift cargoes from the Cove Point LNG terminal in Maryland.
JMU has granted a license for sales and fabrication of the SPB System for LNG fuel tanks to China’s Wison (Nantong) Heavy Industry Co Ltd in September.
Under this license, JMU will supply its design and technical know-how of SPB Systems to Wison for producing the SPB System.