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Shell, Wärtsilä, and Hudong-Zhonghua Introduce Innovative Hybrid Electric LNG Carrier Design
By Sea and Coast | 09/09/2023

Shell Shipping and Maritime, along with CSSC Hudong-Zhonghua Shipbuilding and Wärtsilä Marine, have unveiled an inventive hybrid electric liquefied natural gas (LNG) carrier design. The launch took place at Gastech 2023 in Singapore, signifying the culmination of extensive industry cooperation across the entire LNG value chain.

 

This pioneering hybrid electric LNG carrier design presents a cargo capacity of 185,000 cubic meters (cbm), all neatly contained within the standard dimensions and displacement parameters of a conventional 174,000 cbm vessel. One of the driving forces behind this innovation stems from the recognition that current LNG carriers, designed for a 19.5-knot speed, often operate at a reduced average speed of approximately 15 knots. Consequently, utilizing existing 2-stroke solutions in these vessels is seen as suboptimal, resulting in elevated emissions.

 

The modular hybrid electric design is anticipated to deliver notable advantages, including a projected 10% reduction in fuel consumption. Moreover, it aims to achieve a 15% reduction in greenhouse gas emissions when compared to prevailing powering solutions, aligning with the operational profiles of today's LNG carriers. Additionally, it targets a remarkable over 20% decrease in methane slip, contributing significantly to environmental sustainability.

 

This electrified and modular power system is poised to bolster efficiency while curbing emissions across diverse vessel operating conditions. Furthermore, it offers enhanced operational flexibility, allowing for the seamless integration of future decarbonization technologies.

 

Electric propulsion has already established a successful track record in various shipping segments over several decades. Now, it is gaining momentum as a viable alternative to mechanical propulsion in sectors such as small merchant vessels and ferries. This shift underscores a growing preference for flexible and forward-looking solutions in the maritime industry.

 

CSSC Hudong-Zhonghua Shipbuilding recently earned approval in principle (AiP) for its LNG carrier design, boasting an impressive cargo tank capacity of 271,000 cubic meters, making it the world's largest. Key classification societies, including the American Bureau of Shipping (ABS), DNV, Lloyd's Register (LR), and Bureau Veritas (BV), have granted their AiP for this groundbreaking design.

 

This initiative showcases the maritime industry's steadfast commitment to embracing innovative and sustainable solutions to address environmental challenges while meeting the surging demand for LNG transport. 

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