LNG-fuelled bulk carrier design developed by COSCO Shipyard Group, Golden Union & Lloyd’s Register moves industry along.
Lloyd’s Register has provided approval in principle (AIP) for the new ‘Clean Sky’ bulk carrier design incorporating an LNG-as-fuel system. COSCO, Golden Union and Lloyd’s Register started the project in June 2011 to investigate the potential to develop a commercially viable bulk carrier design based on an existing COSCO conventional design, but employing gas powered propulsion systems.
The ‘Clean Sky’ design builds in flexibility by enabling owners to choose dual, or tri-fuel engines able to burn, heavy fuel oil (HFO) or diesel, as well as LNG.
Nick Brown, Lloyd’s Register’s Area General Manager and Marine Manager, Greater China: “This news moves the industry far beyond the concept stage. A ‘Clean Sky’ ship could be built next year. We have addressed the technology issues; the approval in principle that we issued today only comes after exhaustive risk investigations into the gas containment, bunkering systems and performance assessment.”
Various containment systems and configurations were considered by the project team, but the final choice was for a single, 1,160 m3 type ‘C’ tank that sits aft on the port side (see accompanying images). Lloyd’s Register’s Risk Methodology for Novel Technology process provided a pathway through the complexity of the technical risk assessment.
To date, LNG-as-fuel research, technology development and newbuilding activities have focused on specific niche sectors such as ferries, offshore vessels and short sea, or inland, trades. This project paves the way for take-up in deep sea bulk carrier trades – and for tankers.