GTT gets ABS OK for LNG-powered VLCC, Suezmax

French LNG containment giant GTT has received approvals in principle from classification society ABS for an LNG-powered VLCC, an LNG-fueled Suezmax tanker, and a fuel tank.

GTT’s chairman and CEO Philippe Berterottière received the three AIPs from John McDonald, president and COO of ABS, during a ceremony on Wednesday at the Gastech exhibition in Singapore.

Besides these approvals, GTT and ABS joined forces with crude oil tanker operator DHT to work on an LNG-powered VLCC design.

As per the AIPs, the first concept is an LNG dual-fuel very large crude carrier (VLCC) GTT developed in collaboration with the Finnish ship designer Deltamarin.

The design features an LNG fuel tank with a capacity of 12,500 cbm equipped with GTT’s Mark III system.

Moreover, the second concept is an LNG dual-fuel Suezmax tanker also developed in collaboration with Deltamarin.

This design features an LNG fuel tank with a capacity of 5,500 cbm and equipped with GTT’s Mark III system.

GTT said the concepts aim at maximizing vessel autonomy through the use of a large capacity tank, which allows shipowners and charterers to benefit from longer trade navigation with a single refueling operation without any impact on cargo capacity.

In addition to these two concepts, GTT received AIP for a Mark III LNG fuel tank with a design pressure up to 1 bar gauge (barg) for LNG fuel application.

The 1 barg design improves operational flexibility for many types of LNG-fueled vessels, from containerships to bulk carriers and tankers, GTT said.

It provides an increased pressure range in the LNG fuel tank, with longer pressure holding time (increase in pressure in the event of zero or very low consumption) and an ability to bunker and store LNG at warmer temperatures, it said.

Wind-assisted propulsion tech

GTT also said in a separate statement that its venture capital arm, GTT Strategic Ventures, has led a fund-raising round of 15.9 million euros ($17 million) to support the development of bound4blue, a technology developer of automated wind-assisted propulsion systems for maritime transport.

In particular, the funding round includes the participation of the European Innovation Council, Louis Dreyfus Company Ventures and Shift4Good.

Following this transaction, GTT now holds around 9 percent of the voting rights in the company, it said.

The new investors join existing shareholders of bound4blue, including the Ocean Born Foundation and the Centre for the Development of Technology and Innovation, through the co-investment initiative of the Innvierte program.

Founded in 2014, bound4blue develops wind-assisted propulsion systems (WAPS), known as suction sails, allowing shipowners and ship operators to reduce their fuel consumption.

The technology developed by bound4blue, derived from the suction sail designed by Commandant Cousteau in the 1980s, is an easy-to-install solution, requiring minimum maintenance and offering a payback of below five years, on a large number of segments (LNG carriers, bulk carriers, tankers, Ro-Ro1, general cargo, ferries, and cruise ships), GTT said.

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