Mitsui O.S.K. Lines (MOL), Tohoku Electric Power and Namura Shipbuilding have jointly earned an Approval in Principle from Lloyd's Register for the design of an LNG-powered coal carrier.
This is Japan's first joint acquisition by three companies - a shipping company, cargo owner, and shipbuilder - of an approval for a vessel powered by LNG.
The vessel design ensures sufficient cargo capacity without making the hull larger by installing the LNG fuel tank at the stern, says MOL. The design involves installation of a tank cover aimed at preventing an onboard fire from spreading to the LNG fuel tank.
LNG-Powered Bulk Carriers
The vessel will not be the first LNG-powered bulk carrier. Earlier this year, ESL Shipping's new dry cargo vessel, Viikki, was successfully launched at the Jinling shipyard in Nanjing, China. Viikki is the first LNG-powered handyzise bulk carrier in the world.
Also, in June, ABS, Arista Shipping, Deltamarin, GTT and Wärtsilä revealed plans for a Kamsarmax bulk carrier design powered by LNG.
MOL's LNG Agenda
MOL continues to expand its LNG-powered vessel designs in order to meet up-coming emissions regulations. In May this year, MOL ordered Japan's first LNG-fueled tug from Kanagawa Dockyard in Japan. Yanmar will supply the high-performance dual-fuel engines, and Osaka Gas will supply LNG fuel to the tug which will be operated by Nihon Tug-Boat Co. The new tug will be deployed in Osaka Bay in April 2019. She will be the first LNG-fueled tug to escort large-scale cargo vessels in Osaka Bay and the Seto Inland Sea.
In April, DNVGL issued an Approval In Principle to MOL and Samsung Heavy Industries for the future design of a series of four LNG-powered 20,000 TEU container ships, which have been under construction.