According to MANA, the move comes amid tighter environmental regulations in shipping. While the technology has had success on barges and some tankers, more work is needed to see if LNG can be used in the propulsion of bulk carriers.
One of the problems inherent in the use of LNG as a fuel is the size of the tanks needed to store the gas. LNG fuel tanks are roughly three times the volume of equivalent traditional fuel tanks, but vessel designs need to accommodate the tanks without reducing cargo capacity.
Since more gas is available globally, and due to stricter regulations imposed by the International Maritime Organization on nitrogen and sulphur emissions, "there is a continued need for ship designs to evolve to provide further alternatives to traditional oil-fuelled designs", HHI and LR said. They added that since newbuilding orders were predominantly in the larger sizes, the 180,000 dwt vessel was chosen for the project.
Lloyd's Register's director of innovation and marketing David Barrow said: “These HHI designs offer the possibility for owners to comply with emissions regulations worldwide while keeping the investment viable and competitive."