Planning and Design Center for Greener Ships (GSC), a consortium of nine Japanese shipbuilders, has developed an ammonia-ready LNG-fuelled panamax bulk carrier.
The design for an 80,400 dwt bulker that would measure 228.9 m in length a 32 m beam and have a service speed of 14.2 knots has received approval in principle from the Japanese classification society, ClassNK, which published its guidelines for ships using alternative fuels last year to minimise the risks related to ammonia-fuelled ships.
“The ship is developed as a flexible and efficient solution to enduring the unpredictable period of fuel transition,” GSC said. It would initially run on LNG while also preparing for future fuels. The future design envisions two scenarios in which the ship would be converted to ammonia-fuelled propulsion systems, while in the second scenario, it would keep the systems but switch its fuel from LNG to liquified carbon-neutral methane.
The LNG and ammonia configurations will be operated as dual-fuelled with heavy fuel oil (HFO), and according to GSC, both arrangements can keep the similar endurance and cargo capacity as the current panamax bulkers.
Established in October 2020, GSC joined nine Japanese shipbuilders, including the country’s largest, Imabari Shipbuilding, as well as Oshima and Mitsubishi Shipbuilding, to focus on the commercialisation of advanced greener ships.