South Korean shipbuilder Daewoo Shipbuilding & Marine Engineering (DSME) has delivered its first LNG carrier with an in-house developed air lubrication system (ALS).
The 173,000 cbm newbuilding has been handed over to Greek shipowner Maran Gas Maritime. The company, which ordered the ship in June 2016, has a fleet of LNG carriers on order at DSME.
According to the shipbuilder, the new vessel, equipped with ALS, is expected to save more than 5% fuel compared to existing LNG carriers.
As explained, the air lubrication system is one of the energy-saving technologies that distributes air bubbles at the bottom of the ship to create a constant air layer between the hull and seawater, thereby improving fuel efficiency by reducing frictional resistance during operation.
With the average ship operation being 20 years, the system can reduce fuel costs by about 1 year and 6 months, DSME said.
This is the first time the technology has been applied to a newly built LNG carrier. What is more, the shipbuilder would use the system aboard other vessel types such as LPG carriers, medium tankers and ultra large container vessels (ULCVs).
In October, Maran Gas confirmed fuel savings after conducting ship trials. The shipowner decided to apply the DSME system to other newbuilds as well.
World Maritime News Staff