Japan’s GSC gets OK from ClassNK for ammonia-ready LNG-powered bulker

Japan’s Planning and Design Center for Greener Ships (GSC) has received basic design approval from compatriot classification society ClassNK for its ammonia-ready LNG-fueled Panamax bulk carrier.

Founded in 2020, GSC is an organization which members include nine Japan’s shipbuilders and ClassNK.

The classification society has issued the approval in principle to GSC for the Panamax bulk carrier design in January 2022.

For the short-term aiming for lower CO2 emissions, the new bulker would use LNG fuel, GSC said in a statement on Thursday.

However, for the long-term aiming toward zero CO2 emissions, the development includes two scenarios.

The first scenario includes conversion to ammonia-fueled propulsion systems, while in the second scenario, it would keep the systems but would switch its fuel from LNG to liquefied carbon-neutral methane, according to GSC.

GSC said it as developed the new design as a “flexible and efficient solution” to endure the “unpredictable period” of fuel transition.

“This design tries to apply materials and equipment applicable to both LNG and ammonia as much as possible, and also to use modularized arrangement that makes conversion easier,” it said.

Both would contribute to minimize modification cost and to shorten non-operation periods.

The ship would have 228.9 meters in length and a deadweight of 80,400 MT, while its two fuel tanks would each have a capacity of 2,500 cbm, GSC said.

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