ABS announced it has been chosen to class the world's first compressed natural gas (CNG) carrier ordered by Pelayaran Bahtera Adhiguna, a subsidiary of Indonesia's state-owned power company Perusahaan Listrik Negara (PT PLN).
The award for the precedent-setting ship, to be built at Qingdao Wuchuan Heavy Industry's shipyard in northern China, is the latest example of ABS' leadership in the gas ship sector, where the largest share of LNG ships is presently being built to its classification standards.
"This prestigious contract is a testament to our commitment to high quality service, technical innovation and remaining a pioneer in the safe transport and handling of gas," said ABS Chairman and CEO Christopher J. Wiernicki. "As society's demands continue to drive the search for cleaner forms of energy, new methods of marine transport, propulsion and processing for gas are being required. ABS remains committed to being on the leading edge of that technical evolution, supporting industry and regulators as they navigate through the challenges."
The CNG ship has been designed by China's CIMC Ocean Engineering Design & Research Institute.
ABS has long been a leader in the safe transport and handling of gas, having classed the world's first LNG carrier, the Methane Pioneer in 1959, and subsequently responding to the evolving technology demands of the largest and most modern units currently in service.
In China, it was the class of choice for the first ten large LNG ships (147,000 m3 and 172,000 m3) built in the country's yards. ABS has also worked on several CNG carrier concepts, supporting them through the approval in principle process or to final approval.
PT PLN's inaugural CNG ship, which will be dual-classed with the Indonesian class society Biro Klasifikasi Indonesia, will be 110 meters in length and offer sailing speeds of 14 knots. It is designed to offer a nominal CNG capacity of 2,200 m3 and will fly the Indonesian flag.
The ship is expected to transport natural gas from Indonesian fields in East Java to communities on the island of Lombok, benefiting relatively remote communities that are not economically feasible to supply by pipeline.
The contract award comes just months after ABS unveiled its new Global Gas Solutions team, a multi-disciplinary group of technical specialists formed to respond to the rapidly escalating number of gas-related projects, including LNG and LPG transportation, the use of LNG and LPG as fuel and a growing number of FLNG projects.