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ClassNK release guidelines for CNG carriers

Written by Nick Blenkey
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World's first CNG carrier will be this 2,200 cu.m vessel on order at Chinese shipbuilder Jiangsu Hantong Ship Heavy Industry Ltd

JULY 30, 2015 — Classification society ClassNK has released its Guidelines for Compressed Natural Gas Carriers.
It is predicted that global natural gas demand will grow by 1.8% a year from 2013 to 2035 with the largest portion of this growth coming from Asia-Oceania and the Middle East. Natural gas share in world primary energy supply is projected to increase from 21.3% to 23.6% over the same period. As the demand and supply of natural gas increases, the volume of transportation of natural gas will also expand.

While LNG has been employed mostly in large scale gas fields due to the substantial investment required in liquefaction and storage plants, growing demand for natural gas is generating increased expectation for small to medium scale gas field development and the study of different modes of natural gas transportation at sea. One of these methods is via CNG carriers in which natural gas is stored compressed in the cargo tanks onboard for transportation.

The investment for the entire project can be reduced since no liquefaction, storage, or regasification plant is needed making CNG suitable for short distance transportation.

Currently, the International Code for the Construction and Equipment of Ships Carrying Liquefied Gases in Bulk (IGC Code) outlines safety requirements for LNG carriers. However, there are no applicable international rules for CNG carriers that take into account the hazards associated with the handling and transport of CNG.

The new ClassNK guidelines consist of safety requirements applicable to CNG carriers based on the IGC Code as well as additional requirements taking specific hazards arising from the handling of CNG into consideration.

The Guidelines for Compressed Natural Gas Carriers are available on the ClassNK website for ClassNK “My Page” users.

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