Retrofitting big box ships to LNG fuel may just have gotten a bit easier

L to R: Helmut Radebold, TECHNOLOG, Geoffroy Beutter, GTT, Henning Pewe, DNV GL - Maritime, Gerd-Michael Würsig, DNV GL – Maritime, Hans-Jürgen Voigt, TECHNOLOG L to R: Helmut Radebold, TECHNOLOG, Geoffroy Beutter, GTT, Henning Pewe, DNV GL - Maritime, Gerd-Michael Würsig, DNV GL – Maritime, Hans-Jürgen Voigt, TECHNOLOG

DECEMBER 7, 2017 — Classification society DNV GL has given LNG containment specialist GTT and its partner TECHNOLOG Services GmbH a General Approval for Ship Application (GASA) statement for the retrofit of very large container vessels (VLCVs) with exoskeleton membrane LNG tanks.

DNV GL says that LNG membrane tanks will generally offer more efficient space utilization for cargo storage and as fuel tanks.

The exoskeleton concept offered by GTT, and developed in partnership with TECHNOLOG, consists of a structure that can be prebuilt on the dock and then installed as a complete unit in the hull of the vessel. This greatly reduces construction time of the ship in the shipyard and eliminates the necessity to go into dry dock.

The solution has been developed for VLCVs with a capacity of 14,000 to 18,000 TEU and offers a new possibility for owners to more easily refit existing vessels with an LNG fuel system.

Switching to using LNG as a ship fuel will mean a vessel will comply with incoming restrictions on the use of high sulfurs fuels.

"The GASA approval issued by DNV GL is very important for us, as it shows that the new solution can be ordered and retrofitted today," says Philippe Berterottière, Chairman and CEO of GTT. "It will allow interested shipowners to get ahead of the IMO's 2020 Global Sulphur Cap regulations, giving customers and charterers greater certainty as we head to this significant regulatory change. By bringing this solution to market, GTT reaffirms its position as an innovative provider for the industry, continually working to optimize our customer's operational performance."

"This advanced technology is a milestone for cost-effective LNG retrofit and newbuilding solutions for larger vessels. With introduction of LNG as ship fuel there are immediate benefits to ship owners related to a reduced carbon dioxide footprint (EEDI) as well as all other harmful exhaust emissions," said Hans-Jürgen Voigt, Shareholder and Managing Director of TECHNOLOG.

"We congratulate GTT and TECHNOLOG on achieving this milestone," says Knut Ørbeck-Nilssen, CEO DNV GL – Maritime. "This innovative new solution offers forward thinking shipowners another option when they are considering LNG as a ship fuel and will help to continue the development of this important technology."

A General Approval for Ship Application (GASA) is a full approval of the technology under consideration, according to the DNV GL Rules for Classification, which examines a typical installation of the technology in a vessel.

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