South Korean shipbuilder Hyundai Heavy Industries (HHI) signed a joint project with US-based technology conglomerate General Electrics (GE) and international classification society Lloyd’s Register (LR) to develop gas turbine powered, electrically driven, 14,000 container ship design.
Gas turbines are now to be applied to mainstream cargo shipping since they have been used only in naval, high-speed craft and passenger ships. According to the trio, the project aims at maximizing the potential operational benefits of gas turbine systems.
Signed on 15 March, the project represents a further development of HHI and LR’s work on maximized and safe container loading and continues GE’s collaboration with LR on the COGES (Combined Gas turbine, Electric and Steam) propulsion and power system technology, according to LR.
“Operational benefits of gas turbines to naval architects, owners and operators include high power in a compact package and design flexibility. The gas turbine is so lightweight – fully 80% lighter and 30% smaller than comparable slow-speed diesel applications – that it can be located anywhere on the ship,” Brien Bolsinger, GE VP Marine operation, explains.
“The GE gas turbines can be equipped with a GE Dry Low Emissions (DLE) or single annular combustion system – both capable of meeting Tier III IMO/Tier IV United States Environmental Protection Agency requirements now with no exhaust treatment and no methane slip. The turbines can run on diesel as well as gas, if required – providing further flexibility,” Bolsinger adds.
As LR claims, COGES also opens the way for new thinking on maintenance and financing of ships.