New CNG ship design faces final hurdle

Malcolm Latarche
Malcolm Latarche

26 November 2018

A new type of compressed natural gas (CNG) containment system developed by Australia-based Global Energy Ventures (GEV) is expected to complete its testing by ABS before the year end.

GEV has a long-term project to build a fleet of CNG vessels which are used to transport natural gas under low pressure and without the need for the cryogenic systems associated with LNG. CNG ships have long been seen as candidates for small gas fields and those nearing the end of life where expensive liquefaction plant could make recovery economically unviable.


GEV’s latest ship design is based around the hull of a 45,000dwt Handymax type with its CNG Optimum pipe containment system fitted that would allow for carriage of 200MMscf of gas (the cargo space of a typical Handymax would be around 800,000 cubic feet). The design of the ship has ABS approval in principal.

The Optimum containment system is constructed using close-packed, high strength pipes that run the entire length of the ship’s cargo hold. The invention of a mechanism to clamp these gas storage pipes so tightly together that they become locked together as one, allows this design to meet all classification requirements. The containment system has passed the long-term fatigue test and will be undergoing the final two burst tests before approval can be given.

GEV Chairman & CEO Maurice Brand said “Based on the completion of the tests we have now proved the CNG Optimum design. GEV is now working with shipyards to obtain ship construction costs; delivery schedules and construction options. GEV will now commence together with Clarkson’s, GEV’s ship broker, on structured financing options.”