ABS granted engineering company GTT approval in principle (AIP) for a 32,000 m capacity LNG carrier design.
"While a few membrane LNG carriers in the 20,000 m capacity range were built in the 1990s, this is the first new design to be introduced since that time," said ABS Vice President, LNG, Patrick Janssens.
The reason for this innovation, Janssens says, is the development of new markets that have led to a keen interest in smaller LNG carrier designs.
"Potential markets for these smaller carriers include inland transportation, bunkering, feeder trade, archipelago trade in regions such as the Caribbean and coastal distribution," Janssens said, noting, "this will help balance regional demand, particularly in China, where several companies are evaluating LNG carriers in the range of 20-30,000 m for regional redistribution from large satellite terminals."
According to Philippe Berterottière, GTT Chairman and CEO, this state-of-the-art membrane vessel combines high cargo capacity with flexibility. "Proposing this innovative and efficient design affirms GTT's capability to be a key player over the full range of LNG carrier sizes," he said. "We are very happy with the technological partnership we had with ABS on this project."
ABS recognizes that working with industry to advance technology is critical.
"As new markets emerge, ABS is working with the industry to develop and employ the technologies that will allow access," said ABS President and CEO Christopher J. Wiernicki. "To fill the vital role of Class of the Future, ABS has to provide the services the industry needs to make adjustments as operating conditions and markets change. Granting AIP to new technologies is an essential component of that future."