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CCS, SDARI and Wartsila join hands to develop LNG vessel

CCS, SDARI and Wartsila join hands to develop LNG vessel
A projected surge in the number of LNG-powered vessels in China over the next seven years is a key motivating factor behind a three-party collaboration of China Classification Society (CCS), Shanghai Merchant Ship Design & Research Institute (SDARI) and Wartsila in designing and developing dual fuel vessels.

CCS, SDARI and Wartsila have come together to jointly develop a 1,100-teu feeder boxship to meet the increasing demands of LNG-propelled vessels for use within Chinese waters and the China-Japan route, in view of high bunker fuel prices and environmental concerns.

In China today, there is a combined more than 100 LNG-powered vessels in operation, under construction and conversion, according to Fan Hong Jun, an engineer at CCS. By 2015, China would see more than 2,000 LNG vessels in operation and by 2020 there would be around 12,000 vessels.

As more LNG-fuelled vessels hit the waters, the proportion of LNG being used as marine fuel in China would also rise from the current 4.7% to 7.5% by 2015 and above 10% by 2020, Fan told an audience at a LNG Technical Seminar organised by CCS at Marintec in Shanghai on Tuesday.

Li Xin, an engineer at SDARI, said: “Bunker fuel prices have reached levels that are too costly for owners, while at the same time environmental standards for shipping are becoming stricter. The use of LNG would give owners significant cost savings in terms of bunker bills, and allow owners to meet stringent environmental regulations."

Under the dual fuel vessels joint development project, SDARI will work closely with Wartsila to design the 1,100 teu energy efficient feeder vessel, while CCS will class the vessel.

Apart from the dual fuel function, the new 1,100 teu vessel will boast low energy efficiency design index (EEDI), ballast water treatment system, integrated bilge treatment system and waste management system.

The vessel will be equipped with two access hatches for each cargo hold, an option for deck crane installation, and low noise and vibration capabilities.

Li pointed out that the daily energy consumption for the dual fuel vessel is estimated at 20.97 tonnes for gas and 26.3 tonnes for diesel.

“We are still in the development stage for the dual fuel vessel and there are no orders yet,” Li said. He added that the present lack of LNG bunkering facilities in China and the Asian region would pose a challenge to the growth of the LNG vessels market going forward.