South Korean quartet to develop LNG-powered LCO2 carrier

South Korea’s K Shipbuilding is joining forces with three other Korean firms to develop a 12,000-cbm liquefied CO2 (LCO2) carrier powered by LNG.

In that regard, the firm signed a memorandum of understanding with Korean Register (KR), Sunbo Industries, and Dongsung Finetec on Wednesday on the sidelines of Gastech in Singapore.

As carbon capture, utilization and storage (CCUS) technologies become increasingly important in response to the global trend in decarbonization policies, the demand for LCO2 carriers to transport captured carbon dioxide by sea is expected to grow “significantly, with many orders expected”, according to a statement by KR.

K Shipbuilding will lead the development and design optimization of a medium-pressure LCO2 carrier with a design pressure of 19 bar, while Sunbo Industries will pioneer the development of a cargo handling system and a fuel supply system.

In addition, Dongsung Finetec will undertake the development of LCO2 cargo tanks and LNG fuel tanks, while KR will verify the safety and suitability of the ship in accordance with the classification rules and international conventions, ultimately granting approval in principle (AIP) of the design.

The partners expect this collaborative effort to propel the progress of the LCO2 carrier development project with enhanced efficiency, the statement said.

Last year, Korean Register awarded AiP to South Korea’s Hyundai Heavy Industries for the latter’s 40,000-cbm LNG-powered LCO2 carrier.

On the other hand, Norway’s Northern Lights, a joint venture owned by Equinor, Shell, and TotalEnergies, recently ordered the third LNG-powered LCO2 carrier in China.

The JV expects to take delivery of the first two vessels next year. These LCO2 carriers have a capacity of 7,500 cbm.

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