ClassNK grants AiP for concept vessel fueled by reformed LPG

Written by Nick Blenkey
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Left: Daihatsu Diesel President Shigeki Kinoshita; Right: ClassNK Senior Executive Vice President Toshiyuki Shigemi

Classification society ClassNK has granted an Approval in Principle (AiP) to Daihatsu Diesel for its concept design of a coastal LPG carrier fueled by LPG reformed gas. The concept vessel was developed in cooperation with Iino Gas Transport, Osaka Gas, Izumi Steel Works, and Miura Shipbuilding.

The AiP was granted based on ClassNK’s Rule Part N, which adopts the IGC Code, and its Guidelines for Ships Using Low-Flashpoint Fuels.

The vessel is designed to be equipped with an LPG reformer developed jointly by Daihatsu Diesel and Osaka Gas, and a dual fuel engine developed by Daihatsu Diesel.

The LPG reformer is designed to convert LPG into a synthetic methane gas equivalent to LNG.

As it is mainly composed of propane and butane, LPG is susceptible to knocking (abnormal combustion), making it difficult to use as a fuel for lean burn gas engines and dual fuel engines. The risks of knocking can be constrained by converting LPG into synthetic methane gas with the LPG reformer prior to fueling the engine.

Speaking on the occasion, ClassNK Senior Executive Vice President T. Shigemi said: “We have cautiously confirmed the design’s safety and are proud to be involved with this project. LPG is starting to become an option in the maritime industry and we have high expectations for the possible benefits that its use may bring in terms of environmental safety and efficiency.”

Daihatsu Diesel President S. Kinoshita said: “We have developed dual-fuel engines from the view point of global warming prevention, and this LPG reformer will provide more options for customers. We would like to make further efforts toward a zero carbon society. I thank ClassNK and our partners for their efforts and cooperation in making the concept design and safety assessment.”

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