South Korea Develops LNG Bulker Expertise

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South Korea is targeting the construction of large, 180,000dwt gas-fuelled bulk carriers as Hyundai Mipo Dockyard prepares to deliver the biggest gas-fuelled bulker to date to Ilshin Ferry Co.

At a government-sponsored meeting to promote LNG in shipping on December 13, the ministry of oceans and fisheries and the ministry of trade, industry and energy announced a cooperation to examine the feasibility of building 180,000dwt bulk carriers in the first half of 2018.

The two ministries will cooperate on the feasibility with port operator POSCO Terminal and shippers including Korea South East Power, Korea Gas Corp and Hanwha Chemical Co. According to the agreement, the government and related organisations will also prepare measures to reduce the extra cost burden associated with building gas-fuelled ships – generally approximated as a premium of around 20 per cent on the ship cost.

The group also discussed the operational plan of Green Iris, the 50,000dwt gas-fuelled bulk carrier being built by Hyundai Mipo Dockyard for Ilshin Logistics.

Lloyd’s Register confirmed that the ship – the biggest gas-fuelled bulk carrier on order – is due for delivery this month, and the ministries said they would use the innovative vessel to assess the direction of LNG-related shipbuilding and associated government policies.

The development follows a pilot project launched in September investigating the shipbuilding, port and bunkering infrastructure required for such a vessel. That project involved the two ministries and another six companies, POSCO, Korea Gas Corporation, Korea Shipowners’ Association, Korea Development Bank, LNG Bunkering Industry Association and the Shipbuilding Offshore Plant Research Institute.

Lloyd’s Register and Hyundai Heavy Industries (HHI) had signed a joint development project to design 180,000 dwt class bulk carriers in June. The class society confirmed that the design development is now almost finished and is in the process of receiving approval in principle.

Woodside, Anangel, GE, LR and HHI have also signed a joint industry project agreement to develop a 250,000dwt gas-fuelled very large ore carrier operating on the Australia-Asia iron ore trade route. The HAZID analysis of the design has already been completed.

Sea News, December 19

Baibhav Mishra
Author: Baibhav Mishra

Associate Editor, Sea News