South Korean shipbuilder Hyundai Mipo Dockyard has developed a ballast-free ship design, which will be first applied to a 7,600m3 LNG bunkering vessel.
According to Lloyd’s Register, this will be the world’s first ballast free LNG bunkering vessel. It was ordered by Germany-based Bernhard Schulte Ship management in late 2016 and is currently under construction to LR class at HMD’s Ulsan shipyard.
HMD focused on hull form optimisation and developed a better performing dead-rise hull form, confirmed through the wet model test. This vessel, which will store LNG in two independent IMO type C tanks, also features twin propulsion system with two azimuth thrusters.
“We believe that this design is another remarkable development for HMD to realise the industry’s need for safe, efficient and clean requirements in the shipping industry worldwide,” Jin-Tae Lee, Ph.D, LR’s Korea Chief Representative & Marine Manager, added.
The ballast-free concept means that the vessel will not need to install a ballast water treatment system and it also removes the need to comply with the Performance Standard for Protective Coatings for ballast tanks and related regulation, enabling maintenance costs savings.
Since the introduction of steel-hulled vessels, ballast water has been essential for the safe and efficient operation of vessels, but it also poses an ecological, economic and health threat because of the increased number of species that could be moved from one place to another.
With the entry into force of the IMO’s Ballast Water Management Convention in September 2017, all ships constructed on or after this date, to which the Convention applies, will now be required to be fitted with a ballast water treatment system at delivery.