International classification society Bureau Veritas approved the basic design of an engine for a container ship powered by liquefied natural gas, bringing the industry closer to introducing a LNG-fueled vessel for long-haul shipping.
The design, which BV approved in principal, is for a container ship with a capacity of 14,000 20-foot equivalent units. The engine, which would receive at least 10 percent if its power from oil, would cut carbon dioxide emissions 23 percent and reduce sulfur oxide emissions 92 percent.
“The market will determine when these ships can be ordered and built, but this is a real milestone as for the first time we have a fully worked and approved design for a main line ultra-large container ship running on LNG,” said Jean-Francois Segretain, deputy technical director at BV.
The design was developed in a joint industry project between Korea’s Daewoo Shipbuilding & Marine Engineering, CMA CGM and BV.
Compared with a container ship of the same size with a conventional bunker fuel power plant, the LNG-powered vessel would be costlier because of its engine, LNG tank and gas-handling system. Plus, the LNG-powered vessel would have the equivalent to 438 TEUs less of storage space to make room for the gas tank and equipment.
Butthe LNG-powered ship's fuel economies and lower emissions would offset the disadvantages, Segretrain said.