HMD builds ballast-free LNG bunker vessel

Savings on treatment plant and tank coatings have inspired a ballast-free LNG bunker vessel from HMD Savings on treatment plant and tank coatings have inspired a ballast-free LNG bunker vessel from HMD

Hyundai Mipo Dockyard will build the world’s first ballast-free LNG bunkering vessel.

The 7,600m³ vessel was ordered by Bernhard Schulte Shipmanagement in 2016 and is being built to Lloyd’s Register class rules at HMD’s Ulsan yard, to be delivered later this year. The ballast-free design will reduce machinery costs as the ship will not require a ballast water treatment plant under IMO and US Coast Guard regulations. It also removes the need to comply with the Performance Standard for Protective Coatings for ballast tanks and related regulation, enabling maintenance costs savings.

To enable ballast free design, HMD designed a hull form with a deep dead-rise, enabling it to sit lower in the water without ballast, but retaining speed performance. A forward engine room and deckhouse also contribute to ballast-free stability, while a twin propulsion system with azimuth thrusters enables the ship to retain its damage stability and easily control the trim and heel without ballasting. The smaller diameter of propellers fitted to the azimuth thrusters enables the vessel to achieve full immersion in all operational conditions.

LNG will be stored in two independent IMO type C tanks and can be transferred to an LNG-fuelled vessel at the rate of about 1,250m3/h through cryogenic flexible hoses without ballasting or de-ballasting. Natural vaporising gas from the bunkering vessel and the returned boil-off gas from the LNG-fuelled vessel will be compressed up to 220 bar(g), stored in two sets of 40ft containers and used for propulsion and power.

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