The introduction of the eco-friendly LPG fuelled ropax is due in South Korea next year with the ship development completed.
Korea LPG Association signed a MOU for ‘LPG Ship Bunkering Hub and Infrastructure development’ on 25th January at Korea Mariners Centre in Busan.
Participating companies included GE with gas turbine engine technology, Hyun-Seong MCT, which is leading LPG ship project, YoungSung Global as a ship operator, Far East Ship Design & Engineering as a ship design company, Dintec as a shipmanagement company, Answer as a supplier of a fuel gas supply system and tank, class society Bureau Veritas, and Yuil as the shipyard.
The member companies expressed a vision of promoting LPG bunkering hub and infrastructure development including ship-to-ship fuelling capability for eco-friendly LPG-fuelled ships, first targeting a coastal car ferry that is expected to enter service next year.
Once the project is completed, South Korea will have established the world’s first LPG bunkering hub.
The LPG industry has co-operated with GE and other partners since 2016 for the development of LPG-fuelled ships. The ship design has now been completed, which has received an approval in principle. By signing this MOU, the partners will establish the system to supply LPG as marine fuel including a ‘Ship-to-Ship LPG bunkering’ system.
The LPG-fuelled ship currently being developed will be operated as a passenger/car ferry operating between South Korean domestic ports and also between South Korea and China and South Korea/Japan routes. The ship’s route will be confirmed first and the shipbuilding contract will be signed during the first quarter of this year.
The LPG-fuelled ship is eco-friendly as its NOx, Sox, and PM emissions are 80% lower than a conventional ship burning HFO. In addition, a gas turbine engine’s weight and volume are much smaller than conventional diesel engines, which allows for a flexible design, improved energy efficiency, which translate into a reduction in operating costs.
The South Korean Ministry of Oceans and Fisheries has conducted a study on ‘LPG fuelled ship’s feasibility and safety’ since November last year. This study will serve as a baseline for setting up rules and regulations for gas fuelled ship based on feasibility and safety.