UASC box ship newbuilds to be LNG fuel ready

Newbuilds will be ready for retrofit of IHI-SBP tanks Newbuilds will be ready for retrofit of IHI-SBP tanks

DECEMBER 12, 2013 — Dubai based United Arab Shipping Company (UASC) plans to give LNG fuel capability to the containerships it has on order at South Korean shipbuilder Hyundai Heavy Industries Co., Ltd. It will be the first use of LNG fuel on large Asia-Europe trade container vessels.

The ships will be prepared for dual fuel capability by a post delivery retrofit of an LNG Fuel Gas Supply System (FGSS.

Through a technical cooperation with Japan Marine United Corporation (JMU) IHI Corporation and Hyundai Heavy, UASC intends to obtain an Approval in Principle (AIP) for the FGSS and the LNG fuel tank from its designated classification society, DNV-GL.

The AiP is intended to apply to UASC's current newbuilding order of five 14,000 TEU vessels with six options and five 18,000 TEU vessels with one option.

The newbuildings are designed to be constructed in such a way that LNG fuel tanks and the FGSS can be installed in a matter of weeks once the infrastructure is in place to enable LNG supplies in major ports of call for container vessels. UASC says that the capability of being retrofitted for LNG ensures that the vessels will continue to remain the most advanced and environmentally-friendly ultra-large container vessels globally for many years to come. UASC is among the first vessel owners in the world to plan its newbuildings for LNG retrofitting and is the first international long-haul container liner owner/operator to do so.

Hyundai Heavy has partnered with JMU, a maritime design, research, technology, and the license holder of the Self-supporting Prismatic-shape IMO type-B LNG Tank (IHI-SPB Tank) to engineer provisions such as a conceptual design for an FGSS based on HHI's own FGSS model "Hi-GAS," which is appropriate for UASC's container vessels, and the design of the IHI-SPB Tank to be supplied by IHI at the time of the retrofit. The selected low pressure IHI-SPB Tank is unique and UASC says that the volume of fuel that can be stored onboard is by far the greatest of any LNG-powered vessel to date.

In order to get the most efficient LNG storage and delivery system possible, UASC and its long time technical consultants, TECHNOLOG Services of Germany, have assessed a number of fuel delivery systems and tank types based on their total costs, complexity of preparation at the time of building, complexity at the time of retrofit, cargo loss (following retrofit), etc., taking into account both capital investment and operational costs.

The new ship designs, including the FGSS and the IHI-SPB Tank, are currently being finalized by HHI in cooperation with JMU and DNV-GL with deliveries of the vessels scheduled between 2014 and 2016, including all options.