New containership retrofit concept: Stretch and switch to LNGWritten by Nick Blenkey
Converting existing containerships to LNG fueling can be expensive. Could adding in a new revenue-earning ship section ease the financial pain?
Bureau Veritas (BV) has given its Approval in Principle (AiP) to a new containership retrofit concept that combines conversion to LNG fueling with vessel jumboization.
Awarded at a ceremony at Bureau Veritas (BV) headquarters in Paris, the AiP was granted to Joint Development Program (JDP) members GTT, consultancy Alwena Shipping and China’s CHI Zhoushan shipyard.
GTT carried out the LNG Mark III membrane tank design while its integration into the ship was designed and validated by Alwena Shipping. CHI Zhoushan shipyard validated the operational aspects of the project, including the work sequence, planning and workforce resources.
The increase in the length of the ship (or jumboization), combined with the conversion of the propulsion and electrical generation systems to LNG enable a reduction in the operating costs of the ship, which offsets the financial impact of the time out of service required for the retrofit.
In comparison with a conventionally fueled containership, the converted vessel is said to reduce CO2 emissions by around 23% over an 83-day Europe-Asia return trip (port calls included).
The work carried out within the Joint Development Program (JDP) between GTT, Alwena Shipping and CHI Zhoushan supports the technical, operational and commercial design of containership retrofit, while also proposing a competitive industrial plan.
BV confirmed the concept for retrofit, as well as the layout of the LNG fuel containment system and gas fuel supply system supported by an auxiliary safety system in accordance with IGF Code and BV Rule NR 529. After reviewing the modifications to the vessel and the description of the associated operations, Bureau Veritas Marine & Offshore gave its AiP on the concept on January 11, 2022.
“Retrofit is part of the options to be considered by ship-owners and operators,” said Laurent Leblanc, senior vice president technical & operations at Bureau Veritas Marine & Offshore. “It can be a cost-effective option. I am proud BV could support this project, which is fully aligned with our ambition to enable the industry to tackle the energy transition in a safe and efficient manner.”