ABS approves and develops new gas carrier ships with Asian builders

Malcolm Latarche

Malcolm Latarche · 19 September 2019


US classification society ABS has announced several AiPs and development projects for new gas carrier designs at Gastech in Houston this week.

Among the projects was Daewoo’s 165,000M3 Jumbo Ethane/Ethylene Carrier design which was given AiP. The design is claimed as the largest ever for a VLGC. Under this design, the IMO Type B cargo tanks would be constructed out of High Manganese Austenitic Steel (Hi-MN Steel), which Daewoo says is more cost competitive than Ni alloy steel as well as providing increased reliability and a more robust containment.

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ABS has reviewed the safety, suitability and feasibility of the Type B cargo tank design based on information supplied by DSME to confirm the system would comply with current ABS Rules. ABS and DSME have previously collaborated on Joint Development Projects assessing the viability of Hi-Mn Steel for cryogenic applications.

“We are proud to support development of this concept, which is the latest in a long line of innovations in gas carrier design that ABS has helped to bring to the market,” said Patrick Janssens, ABS Vice President for Global Gas Solutions. “ABS is committed to facilitating innovations in vessel design which advance safety and drive efficiencies for the industry.”

“Based on DSME's advanced technology, which is performing strongly in the LNGC market, it will be able to lead the global gas market not only in membrane but also in Type B tanks by developing this new design for ultra-large Ethane/Ethylene carriers, applying high-manganese steel, a newly rising cryogenic material,” said Odin Kwon, Chief Technology Officer of DSME.

ABS also announced a collaboration with Samsung Heavy Industries (SHI) for a next generation LNG carrier in a joint development project (JDP). The JDP sees SHI deliver the concept and basic design for a next generation LNG carrier which will incorporate an advanced air lubrication system for improved efficiency. In addition, the concept will incorporate smart-ship technologies. ABS will carry out design review of the structure and arrangements.

“ABS is a leader in gas carriers with a proud record of supporting innovation, delivering operational efficiencies and advancing the cause of safety. This exciting project with SHI for a state-of-the-art vessel represents the next step in that journey,” said Patrick Ryan, ABS Senior Vice President Engineering and Technology. “ABS classed the world’s first LNG carrier and today continues to lead global gas carrier classification.”

“SHI has introduced advanced LNG carriers to the market successfully with industry leading partners such as ABS,” said Jong H Youn, Vice President of SHI. “In this JDP we will focus on the examination and realization of future technologies with SHI’s most advanced LNG carrier design to meet current and future market demand.”

China’s Jiangnan Shipyard has been given AIP for a 91,000m3 VLGC Panda 91Tdesign and for the “BrilliancE”, a new 99,000m3 Type B Very Large Ethane Carrier (VLEC) Bluebonnet design.

Designed to be efficient and more environmentally friendly, the VLEC design features the Type B Cargo Containment System “BrilliancE” developed by Jiangnan.

The VLGC design is intended for long-distance, large-scale gas transportation, featuring enhanced cargo capacity and greater efficiency compared to conventional ships. The VLGC is a tailored design for North America and China routes, which meet US Coast Guard (USCG) requirements. ABS has previously facilitated the AIP of the BrilliancE tank concept in a Very Large Ethane Carrier cargo containment with USCG.

“ABS is proud to support the pioneering work of Jiangnan in the design and delivery of gas carriers. By awarding this AIP, ABS is demonstrating its commitment to promoting innovative concepts which meet market needs and drive safer and more sustainable shipping,” said Janssens. “In reviewing novel gas carrier designs, ABS is able to draw on our extensive experience in the classification of VLGCs in supporting the safer handling, storage and transport of gas.”

Hu Keyi, Chief of Global Technology, Jiangnan Shipyard said, “By working with ABS to secure these AIPs, we have laid the groundwork for the introduction of these types of vessel to the market.

“Considering LPG fuel capacity the challenge for Jiangnan’s designers was how to capture more space for gas and still keep full compatibility with conventional VLGC. Thanks to the design philosophy of the “BrilliancE” type B tank developed for the VLEC “Bluebonnet” together with ABS, Jiangnan has sufficient confidence to revolutionise the hull configuration of a traditional VLGC. Panda 91T will broaden our product range in gas carriers and gas-fuelled ship types, which will benefit our clients and at the same time reduce emissions.”

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