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LNG fuelled vessels go big with Project Forward: ABS

ABS has provided an update on its joint development project with partners Arista Shipping, Deltamarin, GTT and Wärtsilä to develop a dry bulk carrier concept that employs LNG and capable of full-range operations.

Called “Project Forward”, the concept is to develop a Kamsarmax bulk carrier design to be the first of this type suitable for worldwide services powered by LNG in compliance with the IMO’s Energy Efficiency Design Index 2025 standards, NOx Tier III and Marpol Annex VI SOx emission levels.

“The long-term potential for LNG as a marine fuel is tremendous,” said ABS vp of Global Gas Solutions Patrick Janssens. “We see the near-term opportunities for larger vessels on fixed and known trade routes, but more opportunities will emerge as concepts mature and bunkering infrastructure expands.”

“Project Forward represents a milestone for the shipping industry in bringing to the market a practical, achievable design for what are the workhorses of the shipping fleet,” said Alexander P. Panagopulos, principal of Greek-based Arista Shipping. “Our mission is to develop the next generation of energy efficient and environmental friendly dry bulk cargo ships to be sustainable worldwide beyond 2030.

Technical challenges in developing this design were considerable, as there is a need to carry a large volume of LNG (2,500 cu m) – which corresponds to full-range operation and 40 days – in a type of ship where available space is limited and cargo space is at a premium.

ABS will provide Approval in Principle for the concept, which is based on the highly optimized Deltamarin B.Delta 82 designing a GTT membrane LNG fuel tank. The concept features a Wärtsilä four-stroke, medium-speed engine without auxiliary generators, significantly simplifying the vessel’s engine room arrangement and contributing to lower capital expenditure.

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