Laid-up OSVs could become LNG bunkering vessels

During the incredible downturn for offshore support vessels, the ships have been rejigged to become tenders for giant gin palaces or even fish farms. Now a Norwegian company has come up with a clever way to get them retrofitted to support the sudden growth in LNG bunkering.

Classification society DNV GL has presented ShipInox with an Approval in Principle (AiP) for its new small-scale LNG carrier/bunker vessel design. It is the first ever class-approved design based on an offshore supply vessel (OSV). With a length of 92 m the ship will have a carrying capacity of 6,000 cu m.

Rune Østbøe, CEO of ShipInox, commented: “We are now in a position where we can help to accelerate entries into small-scale LNG with this fast-to-market and low-cost LNG carrier.”

Trond Hodne, senior vice president at DNV GL – Maritime, noted: “This design could be a viable option for owners looking to move into different segments in a challenging market, especially as the gas segment continues to gain importance in shipping.”

While the design will be aimed at newbuilds, a spokesperson for the class society told Splash that conversions are possible with this concept.

“ShipInox is in a finetuning process to provide a low-cost and fast-to-market solution compared to building new vessels. A conversion is especially feasible for OSVs/PSVs in lay-up,” the DNV GL spokesperson said.

Sam Chambers

Starting out with the Informa Group in 2000 in Hong Kong, Sam Chambers became editor of Maritime Asia magazine as well as East Asia Editor for the world’s oldest newspaper, Lloyd’s List. In 2005 he pursued a freelance career and wrote for a variety of titles including taking on the role of Asia Editor at Seatrade magazine and China correspondent for Supply Chain Asia. His work has also appeared in The Economist, The New York Times, The Sunday Times and The International Herald Tribune.
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