Belgium’s vessel owner and operator Exmar has become a part of the 30,000m³ ballast-free LNG carrier joint development project (JDP).
The partners in the JDP, namely Dalian Shipbuilding, GTT and Lloyd’s Register, welcomed the new member and launched the second phase of the project on April 17 in Shanghai.
The first phase of the project performed by DSIC, GTT and Lloyd’s Register developed a new design of LNG carrier, fully compliant with the International Maritime Organization’s new ballast water management convention (BWMC), and using membrane containment systems.
It showed the potential for competitive advantages for the ship-owners, combining environmentally-friendly features with increased efficiency. It also indicated potentially lower construction and operational costs. The 30,000m³ B-FREE LNG carrier design received an Approval in Principle from Lloyd’s Register in December 2017.
Phase II of the project aims to develop the design further, and to validate the initial results achieved during Phase I by applying more detailed analysis and verification, including model testing.
“The ballast-free concept is a well-suited solution in the context of a shipping world with growing environmental requirements and concerns. By eliminating the need for ballast water, there is an absolute certainty that no invasive species will be transported on board of the vessel,” Pierre Dincq, Managing Director of Shipping at Exmar, said.
Moreover, the ballast water treatment plant can be omitted, reducing the maintenance requirements and the energy consumption of the vessel which has a positive impact on the CO2 footprint of the vessel, Dincq continued.