DNV GL completes Japanese risk assessment

16 May 2014

DNV GL has completed a risk assessment ‘hazard identification study’ (HAZID) on a series of three methanol-fuelled tankers for Japanese owners Mitsui OSK Lines and Minami Nippon Shipbuilding.

Since these vessels feature a flex-fuelled low-speed diesel engine using methanol and/or heavy fuel oil, DNV GL says it was asked to carry out the study for its expertise in the low flash point fuel including methanol and LNG.

“We’re working closely with all parties to make design improvements and safety recommendations early in the design phase,” said Tetsuya Kamada, country manager for DNV GL’s maritime advisory unit in Japan.

Methanol is a low SOx fuel that is gaining interest due to its availability, cost and technical feasibility, says DNV GL. As well as its benefits, it also has hazards that must be managed.

“We have considered the structure and maintenance of the fuel system as well as the vessel’s voyaging, bunkering and cargo operations to ensure that the vessels will be as highly safe as conventional heavy-oil-fuelled ships,” he added.

Mitsui’s new vessels must meet IMO Interim Guideline requirements. DNV GL says all safety considerations must be reassessed because using the methanol in a ship engine for propulsion is new step forward for the maritime industry, where people have experience of handling the substance purely as cargo.

The vessels will be built to NK class and chartered to Waterfront Shipping Company (WFS). Sister vessels are also being built to DNV GL class by a shipyard in Korea, which will also be chartered to WFS.

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