Japan-based Mitsui O.S.K. Lines (MOL) and its partners, Tohoku Electric Power and Namura Shipbuilding, have received an Approval in Principle (AIP) from Lloyd’s Register for the design of an LNG-powered coal carrier.
The vessel design ensures sufficient cargo capacity without making the hull larger by installing the LNG fuel tank at the stern. In addition, the study is pursued based on installation of the tank cover with an eye toward preventing an onboard fire from spreading to the LNG fuel tank while streamlining inspection work.
The three companies have moved ahead with this project and recently conducted a Hazard Identification Study (HAZID) and finished the basic design.
MOL informed that this is Japan’s first joint acquisition by three companies – a shipping company, cargo owner, and shipbuilder – of an AIP for a vessel powered by LNG.
“As stricter standards on exhaust emissions from merchant vessels have taken effect around the world, LNG is expected to see wider use as vessel fuel,” Japan’s carrier said.
In addition to researching the feasibility of using LNG as fuel, MOL added that it strives to reduce its environmental impact, while providing safe, reliable transport services.
The company will forge ahead with the coal carrier, which adopts expertise and technology gained through promotion of the R&D project ISHIN NEXT – MOL Smart Ship Project.
Under the concept, MOL will adopt advanced support technologies for safer vessel operation and technologies for reducing environmental impact to newbuilding vessels.