DNV GL to Class New Methanol-Fuelled Tankers

The first four vessels to use DNV GL’s rules for low flashpoint fuels will be a series of 50,000 dwt tankers ordered by the owners Marinvest and Westfal-Larsen. The vessels are the very first to be fuelled by methanol – a fuel that significantly reduces local air emissions.

These product carriers which also are prepared for methanol will be built at Hyundai Mipo Dockyards and are scheduled for delivery in 2016.

Methanol is a low flashpoint liquid (LFL) fuel that is gaining interest in the market because it does not contain sulphur and is therefore suitable for meeting the upcoming 0.1 per cent SOx Emission Control Area requirements.

Methanol has a flashpoint of about 12 degrees Celsius and the new vessels will be assigned the additional notation LFL FUELLED to demonstrate their compliance with the safety requirements set out in the industry-first rules published by DNV GL in June 2013.

Some important safety measures that will be incorporated into these vessels relate to the location of tanks and piping to prevent energy impact from sources such as grounding or cargo operations, a full secondary fuel containment system, leakage detection, automatic shutdown functions and ignition prevention. The safety philosophy is similar to that of gas-fuelled ships,” says Håkon Skaret, DNV GL Business Director Tankers.

DNV GL was the first classification society to publish LFL rules and sees methanol as part of the future energy mix for shipping. As well as having low SOx and NOx emissions, a methanol fuel system is easy to retrofit on a ship.

DNV GL has been involved in the newbuilding project from the early design stage, working together with the ship owner, engine maker and yard to ensure an equivalent level of safety to that of a conventional fuel oil system. DNV GL has made use of its long experience with LFL cargo handling on chemical tankers and offshore supply vessels designed to transport low flashpoint cargo and its experience with alternative fuels from 15 years of working with gas-fuelled ship installations.

DNV GL, January 22, 2014

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