South Korea names first LNG-powered bulkers

South Korea has named the nation’s first LNG-powered bulk carriers HL Eco and HL Green.

Besides being the the first for South Korea, the vessels are also claimed to be the world’s first LNG-fueled large bulk carriers.

The naming ceremony took place on Friday at Hyundai Samho Heavy Industries in the port city of Yeongam, the South Korean Ministry of Oceans and Fisheries said.

Furthermore, the South Korean government provided a subsidy of 9.7 billion won ($8.9 million) to support the construction of the two eco-friendly vessels, the ministry said.

Both of the 180,000 dwt dual-fuel iron ore carriers belong to South Korea’s H-Line Shipping. The vessels are 292 meters long and 45 meters wide and feature two Type C 1,600 cbm LNG tanks, each.

As of next year, they will work on a route between South Korea and Australia. They will transport about 2 million tons of iron ore and coal annually, the ministry said.

Additionally, South Korean LNG importing giant Kogas will bunker both of the ships via a ship-to-ship method. The firm will use the 7,500-cbm SM Jeju LNG2 bunkering vessel, the first such ship in Korea, for these operations.

Two more to come

Hyundai Samho is also building two additional large LNG-powered bulk carriers of the same design.

Over the period of 2018 and 2019, H-Line Shipping ordered four sister ships at the Korean yard to respond to the IMO 2020 regulation requirements.

Hyundai Samho plans to deliver the named duo by the end of this month and the other two by end-March 2022.

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